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Twitter to Omit Photos & Links as Part of 140 Character Limit?

As per a Bloomberg report, Twitter Inc. TWTR might do away with counting photos and links as a part its signature 140 character limit.

Though Twitter has refused to comment on speculations, Bloomberg, quoting a source familiar with the matter, states that the change could roll out as soon as in the next two weeks.

Analysts observe that the recent proposed change may be welcomed by users because dropping counts for media content may be a more appealing way to retain its USP. They argue that the 140 character limit was developed as initially users used the SMS service to compose tweets, which itself had a 160 character cut off. Over time, this limit became Twitter’s USP. However, with ever increasing media content like videos, photos and links, this 140 character limit started proving to be a hurdle to attract new users. A link constitutes 23 characters.

Twitter at present is struggling to grow users. After user growth came to a standstill in the fourth quarter of 2015, Twitter did manage to record user growth in the first quarter of 2016, although it wasn’t an impressive number. Twitter’s users grew from 305 million monthly average users (MAUs) to 310 million, a jump of 1.6% sequentially.

To increase users, the micro blogging site has been overhauling its features under Dorsey. In January this year, there were rumors of Twitter mulling on extending its character limit to 10K as it did with direct messages. However, CEO Jack Dorsey dismissed rumors of expanding the signature tweet limit of 140 characters to 10K, saying, "It's staying. It's a good constraint for us, and it allows for of-the-moment brevity”, at The Today Show.

Earlier, Twitter introduced a new way to display tweets. Consequently, tweets people "care about" would be displayed at the top of the timeline whereas the remaining tweets will appear below, in reverse chronological order. Further, Twitter announced the integration of its live video streaming app Periscope in its feed. It had earlier expanded the tweet limit on direct messages to 10K from 140 characters.

Twitter swapped the “favorites” button for a “likes” button to make the service easy to use. Moreover, to attract users, Twitter said that tweets would now appear in Google search.  Earlier, the launch of its news curation tool, Moments was also a step in that direction. Some these changes have met with severe criticism.

At present, Twitter carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology space include Paylocity Holding Corporation PCTY, Facebook Inc. FB and NetEase, Inc. NTES. All sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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NETEASE INC (NTES): Free Stock Analysis Report
FACEBOOK INC-A (FB): Free Stock Analysis Report
PAYLOCITY HLDG (PCTY): Free Stock Analysis Report
TWITTER INC (TWTR): Free Stock Analysis Report
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