Twitter considers removing photos and links from 140-character limit

File photo dated 29/12/15 of the Twitter app on an Apple iPhone 6s
File photo dated 29/12/15 of the Twitter app on an Apple iPhone 6s

Twitter is planning to give users more freedom to compose longer messages by changing how it counts characters.

The social media giant will stop counting photos and links as part of the 140-character limit, according to reports.

There has been no official announcement from the company but the changes could happen within the next two weeks, according to a source.

Links currently take up 23 characters of the total 140 available, regardless of how short the links are, while photos take up 20 characters.

This could be a step closer to bigger plans to give users a more flexible service. In January Twitter’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said the company was looking for new ways text would be displayed, and would experiment based on how people use the service.

The 140-character limit, which has been in place since the platform launched in 2006, was adopted as a way of sending tweets while fitting all the information within a mobile text message.

Earlier this year the company had considered raising the limit to as much as 10,000 characters, but Mr Dorsey later said that the 140-character limit was not being ditched:

“It’s staying. It’s a good constraint for us, and it allows for of-the-moment brevity.”

Over the last few months executives have emphasised that Twitter is a destination for live events and discussion.

The rumoured plans to remove the character requirements for links and photos may encourage users to add more media to tweets.

As part of its push for live events, Twitter has made video a priority over recent months.

Earlier this year the company agreed a deal with the National Football League (NFL) for the rights to stream 10 Thursday night games during the 2016 season, in a deal worth $10 million.

The company also said they are looking into more deals to stream sports, political events and entertainment.