Twitter has confirmed plans to exclude photos, videos and @names from its 140-character tweet limit, giving users more freedom to write longer messages.
The social media platform, founded in San Francisco in 2006, said on Tuesday that the changes will be made in “the coming months,” adding that they will make conversations faster and more intuitive.
The changes were reported by Bloomberg earlier this month but Twitter declined to comment at the time.
Under the incoming changes, Twitter users will also be able to retweet and quote tweet themselves, allowing people to resurface their previous Tweets and add new commentary to them.
“One of the biggest priorities for this year is to refine our product and make it simpler,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO and cofounder, in a statement. “We’re focused on making Twitter a whole lot easier and faster. This is what Twitter is great at — what’s happening now, live conversation and the simplicity that we started the service with.”
“We’re not giving up on the idea of Twitter being in the moment. That concept of brevity, speed and live conversation — being able to think of something and put it out to the world instantly — that’s what’s most important,” added Dorsey. “We’re always going to look for opportunities to make Tweets a lot more expressive, and enable people to say what they want to say. As long as things are fast, easy, simple and expressive, we’re going to look at what we can do to make Twitter a better experience.”
Twitter has been making a number of changes to its platform this year as it looks to reassure investors that it’s still relevant. The most notable change was arguably made to the timeline, which now shows important tweets at the top followed by a live feed. Twitter said the reaction to the timeline changes has been positive, with just 2% of users opting out and higher levels of engagement across the platform.
Twitter stock hit an all-time low of $13.73 on Tuesday.
Nicky Danino, principal lecturer and social media expert at the University of the Central Lancashire: “User engagement dropped recently, and the digital native doesn’t seem to be as keen on Twitter as they are on Facebook and other social sharing sites. In order to keep current audiences engaged while attracting younger users, changes need to be made somewhere and I’m glad to see Twitter taking steps towards them.”