So in recent weeks it’s been rumoured that Twitter would be removing their famous 140 character limit and turning it into a brand new 10,000 character limit. Earlier this month, Twitter creator and prodigal son CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted to confirm it was happening.
It’s safe to say the internet went into complete meltdown over it.
Most people were completely against the decision, saying it would never work and that the only reason Twitter is so widely used is because it challenges people to find creativity in a small allowance of characters. I will admit I was sceptical at first, it would be strange to see big blocks of text all down my news feed when I’m so used to a snippet from someone about the gig they went to, or the food they just ate. But it’s not all as damning as it may seem.
Twitter is not forcing you into this! It’s completely up to you; tweets are still going to appear in their classic form. The only difference is that there will be a read more option to view the rest of the tweet. This seemed quite obvious though, why would Twitter show the whole tweet at once? They’d only be driving their users away; the new character limit is going to exist as an option for you, not a requirement. It just adds another dimension to user experience, which is something Twitter is starting to focus on more now because it looks like they’re less focused on growth because well, who’s going to top Facebook?
Keeping it in House
It’s safe to say that Twitter’s biggest selling point is also its biggest problem, the character limit. Even though users love the fact that it’s such a unique content sharing platform, the problem is there’s only so much content you can share. The only other option for you as a user is to tweet a link to another website, which isn’t really what Twitter wants you to be doing anymore.
The inclusion of the 10,000 character limit means that users will no longer need to use links going to other webpages to talk about something that’s more than 140 characters, now they can just talk about it directly on people’s newsfeeds. It’ll be hard to get used to at first, but eventually people will realise it’s a lot easier than clicking a link and then getting so many adds pop up that you can’t even read the content.
From a business point of view, it’s absolutely perfect. Have you ever wanted to tell your followers something on Twitter but it didn’t fit properly? It’s infuriating and it really limits what you can do in terms of making people aware of your company, it may be that you have more engagement on Twitter, but the Tweet doesn’t fit so you have to post it on Facebook instead. Twitter is about to completely change that, finally giving companies some creative room to breathe when it comes to expressing what they are.
It’s also very hard to converse with your followers when the limit is so small, it usually ends up with a tweet in the form of “sorry, can you e-mail us at … and we’ll help to fix this” it makes the customer feel like you don’t care, and usually they don’t even bother messaging you, you just leave a bad taste in their mouth. Now, with the changes Twitter are set to make, you have 8,600 more ways to show you care about your customers than you used to.
This one’s a bit more under the radar as far as reasons for the change go, but it’s probably the most important. With everything going on in the world as of late, it’s safe to say there are a lot of problems. Twitter has instant access to anyone else in the world that has a Twitter account, so when you combine the two, you’ve got an incredibly powerful tool in the middle of a catastrophe that can save lives. An example of this is the Paris shootings late last year, people in the capital were using Twitter to warn other citizens and tourists where to avoid in Paris and it ended up saving a lot of lives, the problem is that this damage diverting tactic is limited to only a small amount of characters. With the inclusion of the 10,000 characters, people now have a better chance of giving even more information out that can save even more lives.
It’s definitely going to take a while to get used to, but it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to the new character limit. There’s a lot more good set to come of it than there is bad and personally I’m interested to see what it can do for the platform. Now all we need is an edit tweet button, @Twitter.