On Tuesday, Jan. 5, tech website Re/Code reported a potential change in the way Twitter does tweets. A potentially huge change.
That change relates to the social media platform’s 140 character limit, and a new feature that could substantially expand the number of characters a person can use. According to Re/Code’s sources, the feature would allow users to tweet up to 10,000 characters. That could average out to around 1,000 words per tweet, including punctuation and spaces.
Many are upset with the idea, as the 140 character limit has not only become a trademark of the platform, but has changed the way many people communicate online. Though the upgrade feels like a betrayal of everything that Twitter is, it may not be as bad as users think.
The major fear with a higher character count is that users would be forced to read entire novella-length tweets. However, Twitter is working on a design for the feature that may not change the way a tweet appears at all.
The social media company is testing it with 140-character messages looking the same as they do right now, and an expansion link of some kind attached that will notify readers there is more to see. Twitter has used this method in the past with images, videos and links. They are also looking at ways to address and prevent spamming through the new feature.
Re/Code’s report was followed by a tweet from the social media company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, introducing and defending the idea.
“At its core,” Dorsey said, “Twitter is public messaging. A simple way to say something, to anyone, that everyone in the world can see instantly.”
Because Twitter has yet to implement the new feature, Dorsey was rather hilariously forced to promote and explain it as a screencapped image of his message.