Twitter abandons microblogging with new 10k character limit

Twitter abandons microblogging with new 10,000-character limit


Get ready for a future in which you can tweet the entire Declaration of Independence.
Photo: Jennie/Flickr CC

Say goodbye to the 140-character limit that made Twitter famous and say hello to something much longer. According to a report, Twitter is getting ready to launch a new feature that will let users include as many as 10,000 characters in one tweet — 9,860 more than before.

The report comes from Re/code, which says the project is internally known as “Beyond 140.” Twitter apparently wants to keep the design of the website and apps familiar by still only showing the first 140 characters of a tweet. Anything longer than that and the tweet will have an indicator similar to a “read more” link that would expand the full text. But this is only one design option and others are also being considered.

It’s a bit odd but not necessarily surprising that Twitter would want to expand the character limit to 10,000. The company seems like it’s willing to try just about anything these days to start rapidly gaining more users. While the recent move to expand the character limit in Twitter’s direct messages to 10,000 made sense because those are for private conversations, lengthy public tweets could start to feel too akin to Facebook or even Medium.

There’s also the matter of spam that would inevitably arise from enabling long tweets. Re/code says Twitter is working to alleviate this problem by possibly limiting the number of people who can get tagged in expanded tweets, but the details aren’t certain just yet.

If the rumor is true, Twitter will launch this drastic change toward the end of Q1 2016. For some fun context, check out TechCrunch’s article showing exactly what 10,000 characters would look like.


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