The social media platform Twitter is known for many things, but its most defining feature is the 140 character limit imposed upon everyone's hourly thoughts. So it's understandable that a report of the company's potential plan to increase the character limit to 10,000 has thrown users into a tizzy. There's just one important detail: The change, as it's currently being reported, wouldn't actually impact day-to-day Twitter use all that much.
The possible character limit increase, reported by Re/code, is being targeted for the end of Q1 with sources inside the company confirming to the tech news site that Twitter is indeed considering the change.
"Twitter is currently testing a version of the product in which tweets appear the same way they do now, displaying just 140 characters, with some kind of call to action that there is more content you can’t see," notes Re/code. "Clicking on the tweets would then expand them to reveal more content. The point of this is to keep the same look and feel for your timeline, although this design is not necessarily final, sources say."
So, in other words, in much the same ways that users can currently click on an individual tweet to get more information — expanded photos, article summaries, replies to that tweet — a user will theoretically be able to select a tweet to read additional content.
yeah so its basically a twitter card for text. you see 140 characters in timeline. click to expand. no giant change. story coming i guess— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) January 5, 2016
In this way, the change can be read as more of an effort to keep eyeballs (and advertising dollars) from leaving Twitter, as so frequently happens when users select a tweeted link.
Even Re/code isn't sure the potential character-limit change is that significant, and muses that in the end it probably only means that Twitter is willing to experiment more as it makes new efforts to increase revenue. And we already saw the company play with its other bedrock feature in 2015, displaying tweets in reverse chronological order, and make other Facebook-like alterations like Whisper Mode and the Instant Timeline.