Starting Monday, Twitter will be changing in a BIG way.

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

According to the latest figures, Twitter has more than 313 million users, grew by 3 million users in the last quarter and generated more than half a billion dollars in advertising revenue that quarter alone–an increase of 18 percent. For some, it’s all fun and games. For others, particularly small businesses, Twitter is a critical tool for communication, customer service, research and marketing–even despite its famous (and sometimes frustrating) 140-character limitation on tweets.

Oh, about that limitation? It appears to be changing on Monday.

Don’t get too excited–there will still be the 140-character limit. But, asconfirmed by the Verge, beginning Sept. 19 the company will start allowing more stuff to be included in those 140 characters.  Stuff like media attachments, images, videos, photos as well as tweets that are quoted and usernames included at the beginning of a reply will no longer be part of the calculation.

Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey back in January called the 140-character limit a “beautiful constraint” but feels that the approach will “stay true” to the concise type of communication unique to the service while adding more convenience.

Although Twitter would not confirm or deny the Sept. 19 change date, but the Verge seems confident. It’s unclear whether all of these changes will occur simultaneously, but the company will at least kick off the move next Monday, writes Verge’s Chris Welch. Of course, plans could change.

If the change happens as predicted the effect could be significant for many small companies that struggle to get their messaging out within the constraints of the application.  Twitter’s hoping this compromise will satisfy both the old-school types and the individuals (and businesses) that need more room for better communication. I know many small businesses that will be grateful for any additional character they can get.

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