As far back as I can remember, Twitter users have been talking up the idea that an extension of the 140-character limit wouldn’t be a bad thing. But on Tuesday, we got a big shock when reports started to surface that Twitter was considering extending the character limit of a tweet from 140 to 10,000.

I mean, not 160 or 200. 10,000 – which is the current character limit for direct messages.

Although Twitter, the company, has not released any official statement yet. Jack Dorsey tweeted this yesterday:

Internally, as Recode reports, the feature is known as “Beyond 140” and it “could launch as early as March” although Jack Dorsey did not acknowledge or mention a specific date yet. There’s possibility that the proposed character limit could change, however.

In September 2015, Recode first reported Twitter’s plan to do away with the 140-character limit but they did not mention a figure. In that report, Kurt Wagner of Recode wrote that “Twitter is desperate to find new ways to attract users to the product” and that “tweaking the character count or allowing for longer tweets are ways to try and do that.”

There is possibility that the change won’t be so bad, if we are allowed to retain the current form factor, and only a ‘read more’ button that opens a preview window is added.

If they go ahead with this, it means Twitter is transforming from a micro-blogging platform to a macro-blogging platform. Normally, when you open links on the Twitter mobile app, they don’t automatically open in a browser, they open in Linkis windows inside Twitter. So, if you click on one of the longform tweets, you could see ads beside or below them, like on a normal blog or website.

We also have to consider how this change may affect other mediums. Will Twitter still allow links shared from other platforms to appear as Twitter cards within their mobile app? Or will they stop supporting that feature like they did to Instagram? We’ll see, won’t we?

Photo Credit: keiyac via Compfight cc

David Adeleke Author

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