One of Twitter’s most beloved features is set to change: The company is planning to extend its 140-character limit to as many as 10,000, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Twitter’s loud and devoted user base was quick to bemoan that such a change — expected to be announced by the end of March — would spoil the brevity and speed of the real-time service. The character limit that forces users to pen snappy tweets could give way to the longer essays found on Facebook, for example. It could transform Twitter into more of a public blogging platform rather than one that is succinct and well-suited to quips and breaking news headlines.
I can’t help but think that increasing Twitter’s character limit would be akin to opening Pandora’s box. Once the limit is increased, there will be no going back, and if the naysayers are correct, it will be the end of Twitter. However, the article goes on:
This person said, however, that Twitter Inc. is aiming to retain the look and feel of the user timeline. For tweets that are longer than 140 characters, users will have to click and expand to see the rest of the text. As users write beyond the 140-character limit, Twitter will signal to them that they have crossed the threshold as a way to encourage brevity.
So it might not be too bad. Personally, I think it would be a shame to increase the 140 limit, which for me is Twitter’s no.1 feature. That said, I think there are just too many users (businesses, brands, broadcasters, celebrities) with time and money invested in Twitter for it to fail. And, does the average user really care?