After 24 hours of intense speculation, the CEO and co-founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey has announced that the social media giant might be ditching its 140 character limit for a 10,000 character one.
This is currently the same as its limit in direct messages. Dorsey explains that the company has noticed that more and more users are posting screenshots of what they have typed to allow them to say more in their tweets.
To illustrate this, he made the announcement through his own screenshotted tweet:
Featured Image VIA
Hmm. Well it certainly sounds like they’re going to be moving the limit, with tech insiders estimating that it could happen as early as the end of March. As you might expect, it isn’t solely because people are moving away from the 140 character limit with screenshots of their own text – although this obviously helps them make the decisions as it shows clear evidence that people are willing to read and make longer tweets – but down to a question of profit.
Crucially, Twitter hasn’t managed to make a profit since it began ten years ago in 2006. Conversely, Facebook made £579million between July and September last year.
It’s clear something has to give if Twitter wants to become the worldwide social media behemoth that it could be, and that might be what made it unique in the first place: its 140 character length. This is because the extra space used in longer tweets could easily be utilised by advertisers, which is where any online platform is going to make its money.
They may face an initial backlash from people loyal to Twitter who like its direct, punchy style, but when you think about the fact that Facebook has changed SO MANY times over the years and is always met with complaints and we’re all still using it, then that may become a moot point. We’ll probably all be reminiscing in ten years about how stupid it was that Twitter used to only allow 140 characters to be honest.
Provided the service doesn’t go the same way as MySpace of course – check out Tom Hardy’s old profile for an example of how archaic that is now.