Starting right now, 140-characters just got a lot more roomy. Twitter had announced a while ago that they were going to be working on expanding the limit for Tweets, but not by expanding the character limit. Instead they are doing this by removing items that would normally count towards the 140 characters. Things like photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets will no longer count towards your limit. Which means you can add a ton of pictures into your Tweet, and still have 140 characters to talk about these images. Same thing goes for Quote Tweets, GIFs, and other things that are now exempt from the character limit.
Currently Tweets with a users's name or handle, still count towards the character limit. However the company is testing removing that limitation. So that may roll out in the near future, as yet another way to expand the limit on Tweets. Twitter had thought about extending the character limit to 10,000 for Tweets. This was after they expanded Direct Messages or DMs to support up to 10,000 characters. But they ultimately backed away from that decision, thanks to users getting upset over a report of these changes.
Now you can say more without having to send out more Tweets. However, this likely won't get rid of Tweet storms. For those of you that love seeing those. For those that don't know what a "Tweet storm" is, it's basically a ton of Tweets sent out by a person on a subject. Usually because what they have to say is much longer than just 140 characters. In the wireless space, both Sprint's CEO and T-Mobile's CEO are well-known for doing Tweet storms, and sometimes at each other.
Changing the limitations on what counts towards a character limit on Twitter is another way that the company is looking to get users to spend more time on the platform and use it more. That's a big problem that Twitter has been trying to combat in recent quarters. Additionally, doing this means that Twitter is finally catching up with the times. When Twitter first launched, it was mostly all about text. There weren't many pictures, or videos, or GIFs being shared. However that now appears to be the majority of Tweets being sent out.