After quite a lot of speculation, Twitter looks set to make an important change to the way its character limit works.

Media reports emerged in America this month which suggested that from now on photographs and web links included in a user’s tweets would no longer count towards the 140-character limit.

Most businesses understand that including an eye-catching picture or a link to an interesting news story are sure-fire ways to enhance the quality of what you’re posting to the site.

But up until now there has been something of a trade-off. Including a URL link will typically take up 23 characters, while an image normally uses up 24.

The new system, which some have suggested might be brought in within a matter of weeks, would give users a little extra room for manoeuvre when tweeting.

It’s a small but significant step for Twitter, which has been wrestling with the idea of relaxing its limit for some months.

Some of the company’s senior figures believe that the site must take steps to remain relevant and have pointed out that the limit was conceived at a time, some ten years ago, when tweets needed to fit into text messages.

In the iPhone age this is no longer a consideration, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t those who are slightly queasy about the idea of doing away with one of the site’s defining characteristics. If users are suddenly able to post reams of words will Twitter be different enough from other social media platforms?

The measures that have been outlined this month seem to be something of a compromise between those wedded to brevity and the people who put greater store in speaking at length.

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