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“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” – Twitter prepares to abandon 140-character tweet limit.

Posted by Kiran Saini on 7th January 2016

17011464712_338275fcd0In attempts to jumpstart user growth, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is considering to scrapping the 140-character tweet limit and increase it to 10,000 characters. Is it just me, or is this just totally bizarre?!

Twitter’s 140-character limit has been around since its launch in 2006 and is arguably the feature that makes the social network what it is. The beauty of Twitter is that the content shared here is short, sweet and to the point, which is a lot more engaging than huge chunks of “mumbo-jumbo” you see on status updates on Facebook. It’s what makes Twitter stand out. It’s what makes tweeting enjoyable.

By increasing the limit to 10,000 characters, tweets will have the potential to be around 2,000 words in length, which is about 8 times longer than this blog, or the same length as the average school essay. Now, if that doesn’t put things into perspective, I don’t know what will.

I know it is common knowledge that many loyal users have been pleading for an extension of the character limit for quite some time now, but I am not quite sure that this is the figure they had in mind. My fear is that rather than attempting to lure new users or increasing existing user engagement, this change will have an adverse effect and people will start using it less. So, this could actually backfire.

It’s understandable that Dorsey would want to make a change and keep things interesting but I don’t think that increasing the character limit is the way. Limiting content to 140-characters works well and is a prominent feature, which not only sums up what Twitter is about but also reflects the future of technology – speed, creativity and brevity.

Not bored yet? Good. But imagine I had carried on for another 8,500 characters.

photo credit: Tweet Scrabble via photopin (license)

Kiran Saini

With a degree in Communication and Media Studies from Brunel University, Kiran has gained invaluable experience of the media industry following her internships with a magazine publishing company based in London and an entertainment PR agency in Richmond. Her most recent internship, however, was with Wildfire where she got a real taste for tech PR. Her passion for media coupled with her new found interest in tech helped her secure a permanent position at Wildfire in January 2016.

  • GadgetsBoy

    I don’t think they’ll actually make you view the whole 10K characters on your timeline, I think the 140 will remain, but become your headline, rather than headline + body in one. If your headline is catchy (clickbait for some), people can hit the read more button and read the rest.