Twitter is considering upping the 140-character limit through a new feature it is working on, according to sources close to the company. There is yet to be any detail on the new service but it is understood it will allow users to put out longer form tweets in a move for a social media platform that is in need of a shake-up.
The 140-character limit is something that made Twitter unique when it first arrived on the scene back in 2006, but in the same stroke it has also been the feature that has been holding the service back. Other social media services that have since launched allow users to post freely any number of hashtags and are not penalised by characters when including URLs or images.
Tech website Re/code reported the story of the potential new service and explained in the article how expanding the character limit "has been a topic of conversation internally at Twitter for years" and with new CEO Jack Dorsey looking to expand its user base it is believed he is "supportive of a change".
With the news last week that Instagram passed 400 million users, eclipsing Twitter's 304 million, there is just cause to introduce something new to the service that should attract new users. The 140-character limit has proven a sticking point for international users as different languages struggle to contract sentences within the limit. Mainstream users are reportedly put off by having a ceiling and while reading a tweet is quicker, those trying to cram in everything they need to say legibly often find writing one takes more time than it should.
Twitter has experimented with a few new features that expand the character limit, such as a retweet with comment option and a removal of the limit on direct messages but giving users more freedom on regular tweets is being met with mixed reaction.
Some fans support the 140-character tweet believing it is Twitter's essence and shouldn't be changed, with many fearing it could turn into unreadable paragraphs of texts too similar to Facebook. While others want an evolution and more space to share. Whether we'll see a whole new add-on to the platform, we will just have to see but an easy fix would be to keep tweets at 140-characters but not count URLs, Twitter handles, images and a limited number of hashtags as characters. There you go, Jack – you can have that one on us.