Twitter Considering Moving Beyond 140 Character LimitBy cheatmaster 06:33 Fri, 30 Jul 2021 Comments
We have been hearing rumors of Twitter considering moving beyond the 140 character limit that has been around pretty much since the inception of the service. Yesterday, CEO Jack Dorsey added further fuel to the fire without confirming anything.
Dorsey's tweet was a screenshot of a large wall of text, where he acknowledges the value of the current word limit while also admitting that certain users have to resort to posting screenshots of large blocks of text, much like Dorsey himself, to convey their point, which couldn't be done with the existing word limit without resorting to multiple tweets. He hinted at building additional functionality into Twitter if there is a need for it, and that if they decide to go down that road they will alert the developers well in advance.
According to the sources at the WSJ, Twitter is considering moving to a 10,000 character limit but in a way that fits in with the current format of Twitter. Tweets will still basically be 140 characters but any additional characters will be hidden and will require expanding to be made visible.
The problem is, as has usually been, that Twitter's management is out of touch with the sentiments of the actual users of the service. While people have been asking for ways to reduce online harassment, a proper mobile site that isn't incredibly out of date, or even something as basic as the ability to edit your tweet at least for a short while after tweeting, Twitter has instead been adding features that either no one asked for or users actively dislike.
The Twitter character limit has been initially introduced to be able to fit the 140 character tweet in an SMS along with other content such as user names, as back then Twitter would optionally SMS tweets to you if you got any replies or messages. Since then it has stuck around and become the biggest differentiating factor of the service. It has encouraged creativity on the part of the users, which has resulted in an fantastic collection of tweets over the years. For the few times you feel like you need a few more characters, there have been third party services that did that, but few actually used them. You could also string tweets together by replying to the previous tweet, which has worked quite well for most people.
Shifting the character limit from 140 to something more reasonable like 200-250 would have been a welcome change, but if the 10,000 character figure is true, you'd soon be seeing lengthy blog posts on Twitter. It dilutes the essence of the platform and makes it no different from Facebook or anything else. Unfortunately, the management at Twitter is either too blind or too obsessed with taking over Facebook to care about what the actual user want.
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