This week Twitter has announced that it is taking a huge step in how it counts characters. The 140-character limit will remain the same, but it is how these characters are counted that will be changing over the coming months. Media attachments such as gifs, photos, quoted tweets and blogs will no longer count towards the 140-character limit. In addition to this, the name used at the start of a reply will also no longer be counted, leaving much more room for people to include the content that they want in their tweets.

Twitter have emphasised that the social media platform is a place for tweeting discussions, life events and users collaborating ideas and sharing their opinion. By excluding media from this character limit people do not only have more freedom with their words, but can include much more valuable content in their tweets to better articulate themselves – something many people have expressed that they are pleased about.

Perhaps the biggest change for twitter users is that it will no longer be necessary to use ‘.@’. Users begin tweets with a full stop to ensure that their tweet that would only be seen by the one person being spoken to, can be seen by every one of their followers. This keeps the conversation (or argument) open for others to join in – so twitter will no longer make tweets beginning with @ signs private, with users only being able to do this if they use the reply function.

From our point of view this change is a positive one. There will no longer be any need to trim down what is being said because of a photo or an infographic. This means that businesses can include much more information in their content that they tweet, and personal accounts can enjoy a gif or video, only having to worry about what they should include, and not what they can’t.