Double Down With Twitter
We recently posted an article about a Twitter user who figured out a way to send a Tweetstorm in one single post instead of as individual conversation threads. Since it was discovered by accident, the Little Blue Bird wouldn’t comment on whether this technology would be implemented for everyone to use.
Apparently they were just testing it to see if an interconnected Tweetstorm was a feasible idea. However, it seems that they were experimenting with other ways to expand the length of conversations by doubling down – 280 characters per tweet.
“When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people tweeting,” Twitter said in a blog post.
It is a significant moment for the 11-year-old Twitter, which has been trying to figure out how to change the social media service without alienating the people who have embraced its short format.
Pleasing everyone isn’t easy, and the 280 character announcement received a lot of attention. The reaction from users on Twitter seems to be mixed.
Many believe that the 140 character limit is the core of what makes Twitter unique: thoughts that are short, sweet, and to the point.
Others feel that the limited number of characters makes it difficult to carry on an in-depth conversation and that you can’t express yourself in that amount of space without leaving out important pieces of the dialogue.
In addition, multiple tweets are hard for others to follow, which could be the reason behind the Tweetstorm experiment. This video sums up the forthcoming changes:
Other recent changes that have helped people broaden their posts were removing images and GIF’s from the count. They also eliminated the @names in replies to a group. Depending on the number of people included, it would sometimes take up most of the character count.
Twitter has received a lot of response to the announcement on the original @Twitter account. Many comments are somewhat vulgar and angry, others are supportive and excited. A number of individuals were requesting other changes, such as having the ability to edit a tweet.
As Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, re-tweeted the post, he was also bombarded with commentary. He followed up with this post back to the community:
We expected (and ❤️!) all the snark & critique for #280characters. Comes with the job. What matters now is we clearly show why this change is important, and prove to you all it’s better. Give us some time to learn and confirm (or challenge!) our ideas. https://t.co/qJrzzIluMw
— jack (@jack) September 27, 2017
I’ve been on Twitter since 2011 and have enjoyed the unique, fast-paced atmosphere of the platform. My thoughts on the character increase are that if you don’t like the changes, continue using a shorter format. Just because you have room for 280 characters doesn’t mean you have to use them.
If it’s bothering you that other people’s tweets that show on your timeline will be longer, there are ways to block those users. There are so many bigger issues to worry about, so don’t let it ruin your day.