Twitter will exclude links and photos from its 140-character count

Now please tweet more.
Now please tweet more.
Image: AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha
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Twitter’s 140-character limit forces people to spend a little more time thinking about and crafting their tweets. The task is made all the more challenging when including a photo or link, which, respectively, counts as 24 and 23 characters.

Bloomberg reports today (May 16) that the social network plans to stop counting photos and links as part of the 140-character limit. The change could roll out in the next two weeks, according to Bloomberg. A Twitter spokesman declined to comment.

CEO Jack Dorsey has been trying a number of things to simplify the service for lay people and transform Twitter into a more mainstream service.  A new “moments” tab, for example, was released in October to bring order to the chaos of people’s Twitter feeds. Moments packaged tweets around topics, making conversations around events, like the World Series, easier to follow.

In January, amid news that Twitter was exploring increasing its 140-character limit to 10,000 characters, Dorsey tweeted a screenshot of an extended message, a method some people have used to bypass the character restriction. “As long as it’s consistent with what people want to do, we’re going to explore it,” he wrote.

Twitter has found that adding photos, links and videos to its messages tends to create more retweets. Cutting those elements out of the 140-character limit could lead people to include them more often.