Twitter planning to extend its tweet limit


Any ardent user of Twitter would have regularly cursed the 140 character limit imposed on a tweet by the company. Since its launch in 2006, the limit was one of the defining features of the application. Requests to extend the limit were denied and earned the users’ ire. Now, after 9 long years, the traditional feature limit is finally getting a much needed extension.

The company is building a new feature that will allow users to tweet things longer than the 140-character limit. Twitter is currently considering a 10,000 character limit, according to these sources. That’s the same character limit the company uses for its Direct Messages product, so it isn’t a complete surprise. Twitter is testing a product version where a user’s timeline will reveal tweets in 140 characters. Clicking on a tweet will display more content. The point of this is to keep the same look and feel for the user’s timeline, although this design is not necessarily final, sources say. Design is a key aspect of the new version. If tweets take a long time to consume or take up more space on your screen, it’s likely that you’ll view (and engage with) fewer of them. So Twitter is trying to add more content without disrupting the way you currently scroll through your timeline.

It’s hard to tell if the new product revamp will make much of a difference for Twitter. CEO Jack Dorsey has been looking for ways to jumpstart user growth for some time, and the company has thrown a number of product updates at users (including new event summaries called Moments) to make this happen. None of it seems to be working so far. The update is however important as the company is showing its willingness to change its established product features. Users are likely to accept the limit removal with open arms as it enables them to include more content in their tweets.

Expanded tweets will raise another issue: spamming. According to sources, Twitter is also working out a plan for how to deal with potential spamming issues that might arise with an expanded character count. It’s unknown, for example, if Twitter will restrict how many users can be mentioned in a single tweet, but the company is apparently thinking through those scenarios.

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