Last week, Twitter announced that we may be reading longer tweets in the near future. According to ReCode: “Twitter is building a new feature that will allow users to tweet things longer than the traditional 140-character limit, and the company is targeting a launch date toward the end of Q1, according to multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans.”
Without going into too many details because at this point it’s all speculation since Twitter has yet to confirm or deny the change, I wanted to share my thoughts on why upping the character limit may not be a bad idea.
Let me back up and say that Twitter was my my first social media love and when i initially read that ReCode headline, I freaked out. 140 is exactly why I LOVE Twitter! A tweet is short! A tweet isn’t a tweeeeeeeeeeeet!
Okay. That’s only 138 characters, but you get my point. 10,000 characters? I don’t want my feed clogged up with short stories that I have to scroll through. Nobody would want that. I guarantee you that I’d never stick around to read 10,000 words. That’s a novellete! That’s a very, very long blog post! Side Note: I’m also a blogger and keep my posts to 500 – 750 words because readers don’t have a very long attention span when online.
Tweets are supposed to be short, easy to read, and give you just enough information to click over to get more information somewhere else. You’ve got to be creative and thoughtful to grab someone’s attention with just 140 characters.
But guess what? Twitter doesn’t intend for any of us to be scrolling through 10,000 character tweets. After more research on the subject, I found this over at Buffer: As Slate points out: “In all likelihood, the text of tweets themselves will remain capped at 140 characters in most cases… As a result, your Twitter feed will continue to look much the same as it does today. The difference will be that, for certain tweets, you’ll have the option to click or tap a button (“Expand,” perhaps) to view the full article or blog post without leaving your Twitter feed.”
So nothing is really going to change. Just like when they introduced video embedding and Twitter cards and changes to how we retweet. Nothing changed then, and nothing will be changing now. All that this is going to do is give people the opportunity to share more if they want, but you can just scroll right past those first 140 characters if you’re not interested.
If it’s in fact true that my feed will continue to look just as it always has, this big but inconsequential change won’t affect my love for Twitter.
written by Natalie Hoage, Brand Manager for Wylie & Co.