Is Twitter’s Proposed 10k-Character Limit a Good Idea?
The big Twitter news, beside the possibility of being banned in Turkey, was that the 140-character limit may go extinct.
Instead of a 140-character limit, Tweets will have a 10,000 character-limit.
And of course Twitter reacted the way Twitter always does; with an overreaction.
Join the fun. Search for #Twitter10k.
Apparently Twitter has a new logo.
— King A (@AdamMaina_) January 6, 2016
As you can see, anger is at its typical Twitter level.
— GoldenAgeHollywood (@ClassicalCinema) January 6, 2016
My personal favorite.
— guzz (@gustafuzza) January 6, 2016
But is this (potential) Twitter change really that big of a deal?
Yes (but mostly no). Here are a few (possible) consequences.
A “Read More” Option
If this change occurs, the heart-and-soul of Twitter won’t change. Twitter has always been about brevity and creativity. 140 characters forces users to pick their words carefully; and sometimes make them up (see: BAE & NSFW).
But Tweets won’t suddenly be long-winded ramblings. Instead, a “read more” option will be implemented.
Tweets will stick to their 140 character roots, and give readers an option to “expand” the tweet. And if the first 140 don’t interest them, they’ll just keep on scrolling.
Even More Clickbait
File this under “annoying,” but not necessarily “bad.”
This 10k change is being considered more for advertisers, than it is for users. Many advertisers find the 140-character limit too, well… limiting.
Brevity and creativity are not something many businesses can accomplish. Instead, they prefer multi-sentence sales-pitches, and long-winded promotional copy. The best social media marketers may not have this issue, but those slower to adapt to digital marketing, have trouble.
Insert more clickbait.
We’ve all seen them, and we’ve all been tricked.
Advertisers will stop trying to sell you something creatively; instead, they’ll use more clickbait, encouraging you to click “read more” on their Tweet.
Twitter Users (kinda) Asked for It
I can’t imagine anyone tweeted CEO Jack Dorsey, asking for more characters. But what Twitter did notice was an increase in tweets with screenshots of longer text messages.
It’s clear some users have more to say, and need a way to fit it all in a single tweet.
For those verbose Twitter users, the option to say everything they want, in a single tweet, would be a nice addition.
The only alternative is to send out multiple tweets, in rapid-fire succession, that pick up right where the last tweet ended. This is already more annoying than a possible “read more” icon.
The Biggest Twitter Complaint Still Wasn’t Addressed
Spend half-a-minute looking through all the #Twitter10k tweets, and you’ll notice one, consistent trend. There’s still no edit option for tweets.
Twitter users aren’t looking to say more; instead, they just want the ability to edit tweets. A way to fix a typo, or alter a URL mistake.
Twitter announcing this potential change illustrates it isn’t listening to users; instead, focusing on advertiser’s demands.
Which, as a business, isn’t always a bad thing.
But, as many social media platforms are discovering, their popularity came from the unique experience they provided regular people. It wasn’t until they tried to appease advertisers, that people start moving away.
Go ahead and ask a millennial how much time they spend on Facebook.
The success of a business often depends on its ability to gain repeat customers; which is cheaper than acquiring new ones.
It’s no guarantee that Twitter will implement this change, as multiple possible changes have been suggested by the company. But if these do occur, it’ll be a sign that Twitter is more concerned with appealing to stockholders, than to users.
Will this change cause people to find an alternative social media platform? Let me know what you think, in the comment section of this blog.