Twitter may expand 140-character limit up to 10,000

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Jan. 6, 2016 at 9:27 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Twitter is reportedly planning to extend its 140-character limit up to 10,000 characters, effectively changing the nature of the social media service.

The Re/code reports the changes will be announced in March. After news broke of the reported change, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted a screenshot of text that explained the direction the company was taking with the character expansion.

"At its core Twitter is public messaging. A simple way to say something, to anyone, that everyone in the world can see instantly. We didn't start Twitter with a 140 character restriction. We added that early on to fit into a single SMS message (160 characters)," Dorsey wrote. "It's become a beautiful constraint, and I love it! It inspires creativity and brevity. And a sense of speed. We will never lose that feeling.

Dorsey went on to explain that Twitter has seen people taking screenshots of text larger than 140 characters and then tweeting the image to distribute a longer message -- exactly what Dorsey did, perhaps to illustrate a point.

"Instead, what if that text... was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That's more utility and power," Dorsey wrote. "What makes Twitter, Twitter is its fast, public, live conversational nature. We will always work to strengthen that. For every person around the world, in every language!"

Twitter's internal debate on whether to increase the character limit has been developing since September. Although the character expansion is likely, Twitter will attempt to retain the look and feel of the user timeline. For tweets that are longer than 140 characters, users may have to click and expand to see the remaining text.

Twitter may also warn users when they reach the 140-character threshold to encourage concision.

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