Why Twitter’s character limit increase is a good thing

Twitter is reportedly entertaining the thought of increasing its character count limit per tweet from 140 to 10,000.

It sounded pretty crazy at first but after reading about it. There is a lot of positives that could make any Twitter user happy.

I will be the first to admit that I was against the idea because half the fun of Twitter is getting your point across in 140 characters. I also like the current limit restraints because it keeps you focused on what you are trying to say and eliminates extra information that I, as a reporter, would be tempted to fit into a single tweet. 

While it does sound fine and dandy, there are those heartbreaking moments  when you have something you want to post immediately only to find out you are one character over the 140 limit. Then you spend five minutes fumbling around to make it fit.

Usually I work around it but I really got to thinking about the whole concept of increasing the limit when I saw this tweet from Twitter’s co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey:


The way he went about that tweet really opened my eyes because I have seen several of my followers do the things he has mentioned before such as tweetstorms and the screenshot text post.

One thing that I find beneficial is that it will make tweets searchable, which in my eyes is definitely a plus. 

Think about it. You screenshot your long tweet, or rant for that matter, and post it. Clearly you want someone to see it but how can they if it is not something you can search. You are cutting yourself short.

So without knowing it, this may be a change we been asking for and just haven’t realized until now.

Not sure how many of you still use this but I am sure at one time or another if you been on Twitter long enough you used TwitLonger, the third party site that provides a link to your expanded tweet.

Well much like the increase to the direct message character limits, which is at 10,000 characters, the same could be coming to your public timeline but how will that come across the timeline visually.

While it sounds like this possible increase will not hurt the way tweets are currently viewed and displayed on your timeline, we can only cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Also, if they do go through with 10,000 character count tweets. Please Twitter, add an edit button. Yes, add an edit history display as well.

Do not be afraid to follow in the steps of Facebook on this one thing.

But the elephant in the room still remains. Why did they decided to make the huge jump from 140 to 10,000 in the first place?

Only time will tell but as far as how the 140 limit came about regarding SMS made sense and as someone who had to text message tweets at one time because I did not have a smart phone, I can appreciate and respect that decision.

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James H. Williams

James H. Williams is a journalist and digital sports producer that works for the Southern California News Group. He served as the Editor-In-Chief of his college newspaper in Riverside, Calif.

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