Twitter came to fame and fortune (yes, despite floundering stock prices and slowed user growth it’s still worth nearly $10 billion if only by market capitalization) with its unique choice to limit it’s users to 140 characters. Now, that’s set to change owing to those aforementioned problems.
“Nothing is off the table”
The company announced earlier today that it would roll out in the coming months to, well, make people’s life easier rather than taking their communications elsewhere. The tweet as we know it is not long for this world. The limit that is set to change is what both built the company while maddening its users. If the company survives another ten or twenty years, you’ll be that old person telling the youngsters how you remember when Twitter strictly limited users to 140 characters.
“This is something that has been requested from people using Twitter for quite some time,” Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, said in an interview on Tuesday and later posted by the micro-blogging firm. He then went on to acknowledge that with the limit “then you’re just thinking a lot about Twitter instead of what you’re saying. We shouldn’t make you think about Twitter.”
While Twitter has made a few changes since its founding, most would agree that, for better or worse, the platform has largely remained unchanged. That’s set to change.
Twitter – Change without change?
The changes are expected to attempt to make everybody happy something that rarely works. Twitter has a diehard core of users who don’t want to see the character count change and another equally vocal group wanting longer tweets. It looks like the company is poised to do both. Keeping the 140 character count while exempting certain parts of a tweet from the count.
Analysts and social media experts can’t seem to agree what is best for the company either. They seem to know that Twitter is broken, but have no idea how to fix it and quotes are often contradictory.
For example, Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at the industry research firm eMarketer, recently told the New York Times, “Twitter’s unique syntax and 140-character limit have held the service back.” She went on Set featured image
to add, “Twitter has been saying for years now that it wants to make the service more user-friendly, and I think users will really appreciate having the ability to say what they want to say in the way they want to say it.”
“Changing the nature of tweets is risky for Twitter, as these qualities have attracted and retained the most loyal users,” said Brian Blau, a technology analyst for Gartner in conversation with the same NYT. “But for them to become mass market and move to the next level, they need to make fundamental changes.”