Twitter should tread carefully on any changes targeting the Twitter 140 Characters

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  • 10 months ago
  • Posted: May 17, 2016 at 4:57 pm

A few months ago rumours spread that Twitter was overhauling the 140 characters limit to allow users to tweet up to 10,000 characters. If it were implemented, the rumours detailed that only the first 140 characters could have been visible on Twitter timeline; that those who would have wanted to read the rest of the tweet would have been required to click on a “Read more” button. According to the rumours, the success of the 10,000 characters limit on DM could have occasioned the implementation of 10,000 characters limit on Twitter. But according to recent news, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey affirmed that the Twitter 140 Characters is here to stay, albeit new rumours have emerged that what will now be implemented is the ability for links and photos to consume zero characters on Twitter.

About 12 hour0s ago Bloomberg reported that Twitter “will soon stop counting photos and links as part of its 140-character limit for messages, according to a person familiar with the matter”. Further, the unnamed person who is familiar with matter stated that we should expect the rollout of the changes in the next few weeks, but when Bloomberg contacted Twitter for comments, “the company declined to comment”.

Already the rumours that links and photos will not count towards the Twitter 140 characters limit has come as good news to some veteran tweeps including our own @Kachwanya who tweeted, “Good stuff” as a reply quote to a tweet that spread the word:

The reason @Kachwanya and the other Twitter addicts are excited about this is because the restrictions the links and photos have on the flexibility of explaining the background behind the photo or the link. For example, after writing articles here, in most cases I am forced to tweet the same title even though a more expanded explanation could be better than simply tweeting the link with the article’s title. In some cases, the title would be better to accompanied with a hashtag or  photo but each of those consume additional characters. Each link for example consumes 23 characters even after Twitter has shortened it. 23 characters in the world of Twitter is a lot.

What is not clear however is whether people will now be allowed to tween unlimited photos and links, because if this will be the case, then I expect a tweet to have endless links and photos that will in turn make Twitter timelines be clumsy and shabby. Shabby clumsy Twitter timelines will do everything except encourage heightened Twitter interactions. Going by the statement from Bloomberg that the reason Twitter is considering to allow photos and links occupy zero characters out of the Twitter 240 Characters is that “removing the character requirement for links and photos may encourage users to add more media to their posts”, I can only foresee a situation where one tweet occupies the entire visible Timeline from top to bottom, and it doesn’t look anything close to desirable.

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Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at Kachwanya.com
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Odipo Riaga is a Technology Blogger interested in emerging tech such as VR and AR, AI, Life Extension, Exponential Biotech, Immortality, Cyborgs and many others.
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