Twitter is testing longer tweets
Twitter announced plans yesterday that it is doubling its character limit to 280 characters. They are testing this longer character limit with a selected group of users.
This came as a shock announcement, as Twitter has for years resisted the calls from users to increase the character limit.
Twitter did make changes back in September 2016. You can read about these in my blog ‘What the Twitter changes mean to small businesses.’
Reasons behind Twitter’s change
Twitter has stated that they have decided to increase the character limit as they felt the current limit of 140 characters is limiting people’s ability to express themselves. As longer form content is becoming increasingly popular, other networks have responded to this by allowing people to post in-depth posts. Facebook has a character limit of 63206 and LinkedIn have a limit of 600 characters.
Twitter feel that the longer character limit will be particularly beneficial to countries with complex word formations, like England, Portugal, and Spain.
Many feel that the changes have been brought in as a way to attract more users. Twitter has seen its user number stall in the last few years, to around 328 million users a month. This is compared to Facebook’s 2 billion monthly users and Instagram with 700 million users.
The reaction from Twitter users
The reaction from users has certainly been mixed. Some people agree with Twitter, in that it will give people the opportunity to express themselves in greater detail. Whilst, others feel that this move will lose its uniqueness. Ultimately, it is the 140 characters that sets Twitter apart from other social platforms.
Personally, I think they are doing the wrong thing. The character limit is what makes Twitter the place to go for great one-liners. It makes the user think about what they want to saw in a concise way. And, in a time when everyone is incredibly time poor, we need a platform that allows us to gain information whilst scrolling on our devices.
The road ahead for Twitter
It is inevitable that over time the increased character limit will be rolled out to all users. I am hoping they will introduce other features, such as the ability to edit tweets and they evolve their live video, as it seems everyone wants to be on screen these days.