My Twitter! My Facebook! My Twitter! My Facebook! Forget it Jake, it’s Social Media town…
In June of 2015, Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter, who left to start Square, Inc. (a financial services and mobile payments corporation), returned to replace Dick Costolo as CEO of the social media site. Dorsey came in (first as as an interim CEO, then permanently) because, unlike Facebook, Twitter’s userbase as well as its stock price were flatlining or declining. As a result of this, since his return, Dorsey has made it his mission to turn the company around with big changes, the latest being the possibility of a new 10,000 character limit for tweets. Today, he released the below statement.
Under the guidance of Dorsey, Twitter has implemented multiple changes to its user interface, as well as added features, in order to make the microblogging site more palatable to the average user. These changes and added features have included turning the “favorite” stars into “like” hearts, as well as the addition of “Moments,” which allows users to browse the most popular tweets from the most popular topics in News, Entertainment, Sports, etc. But Dorsey wants to continue making fundamental changes to Twitter, (fundamental changes that seem to be making it more and more like Facebook), and now the 140 character limit for tweets, an iconic component of the site, may be altered.
The new 10,000 character-limit tweets, rumored to be codenamed “Beyond 140”, wouldn’t appear as super long tweets in one’s news feed, as this has been established to diminish user engagement. Instead, a 140+ character tweet would appear as a current tweet does, but would have some kind of expand button to allow a user to read the complete elongated tweet. The 10,000 character-limit isn’t a totally arbitrary number either, as that is the current limitation for sending Direct Messages on the site.
With the new possible 10,000 character limit, a bevy of technical issues will also need to be addressed. For example, with all of that extra text real estate, it would be possible to mention a huge amount of users, which means there would be an excellent opportunity for spamming. But Twitter is said to have these issues on its radar, and is considering various strategies to limit exploitation.
While the exact number for the incoming character limitation is unclear (it may change from 10,000 before it’s implemented), what is certain is that Twitter is looking to change as quickly as its users’ timelines do. Oh, and the established reverse chronological order of timelines is also changing, allowing for more relevant content to surface to the top of the feed. Sound familiar?
What do you think about the idea of a 10,000 character limit for tweets? Will it attract more users, or is it diminishing the core principles of Twitter? Let us know in the comments section below!
HT: The Wrap
Image: Virginia State Parks