On January 5, Twitter founder and recently reappointed CEO Jack Dorsey seemed to suggest that the micro-blogging site plans to change its signature feature: the 140-character tweet.
In a carefully worded statement, Dorsey suggested that Twitter was planning to increase the character limit on tweets to 10,000.
Much of the reasoning behind the word increase proposal lies in the fact that Twitter already allows users to upload images, and as Dorsey noted, many users choose to upload images of long pieces of text.
While this is true, the reality is that most people still focus on the content of the 140 characters rather than images or even video. In our view, this is because Twitter is a useful vehicle for getting information across in bite-sizes.
If the proposal goes ahead, it would bring Twitter in line, more or less, with Facebook, which allows status updates of over 60,000 characters. It may also help Twitter regain space in the social ether that has been lost to Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat.
We are not convinced about the planned increase in characters.
One of Twitter’s strengths is forcing people to think hard and write pithy information rather than screeds of ill-considered words. Enabling people to write 10,000 characters may also detract from another of Twitter’s strengths, and that is to connect people to new information and opinions.
Less is often more.