Every since Twitter was launched nearly a decade ago, it has restricted tweets to no more than 140 characters. That was something that distinguished the Big Blue Bird from other social media networks. But the era of 140 character limit tweets may soon be coming to an end, because the company recently revealed that it was considering increasing this limit to 10,000.
At first glance, you may assume this a poor move on behalf of Twitter; if it’s not broken, why fix it? Twitter has been perfectly fine with its 140 character limit, with the company reporting a steady growth of new users from quarter to quarter. However, there are several key advantages to a higher character limit.
For starters, users have already discovered a way to bypass the 140 character limit. They’ll write the tweet beforehand in Microsoft Word or a similar word processing program, take a screenshot of it, and then tweet the screenshot. Their followers may then view the screenshot to read the entire tweet, regardless of how many characters it contains. Unfortunately for Twitter, screenshots are not “searchable” in search engines, meaning less traffic for the network. If Twitter embraces the use of 10,000 character tweets, it would allow search engines to index tweets more easily, sending more traffic to Twitter while subsequently allowing it to grow.
Furthermore, many social media networks have already launched their own internet content delivery platforms. Facebook, for instance, recently launched Instant Articles – a platform on which brands can post full-length interactive articles. Facebook also increased the character limit for status updates to 60,000 a while back.
You might be worried about having your account cluttered with 10,000-character tweets. As explained by Recode, tweets will appear the same as they do no. They’ll continue to show 140 characters, but at the bottom they’ll have a button that allows users to expand the remaining characters. If you don’t want your account cluttered with long tweets, just don’t hit the button.
“You will see us continue to question our reverse chronological timeline, and all the work it takes to build one by finding and following accounts.” said Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, “We continue to show a questioning of our fundamentals in order to make the product easier and more accessible to more people.”
Of course, the 10,000 limit tweet idea is just that: an idea. Twitter has yet to make an official decision on whether or not to increase the character limit of tweets.