Ask people what’s the one thing that sets apart Twitter from its social media brethren, and they’ll probably cite Twitter’s adherence to 140 characters per post.
It’s been the site’s trademark and distinguishing feature since its launch in 2006. Now, it might go away.
Re/Code, citing “multiple people familiar with the company’s plans,” reports that Twitter is exploring whether to allow users the option to share tweets that exceed 140 characters.
It’s no secret that Twitter is struggling. Interim CEO Jack Dorsey has seen one exit after another among the company’s executive ranks, as well as stagnating growth in several key areas.
“Dorsey is apparently supportive of a potential change,” Re/Code reports, “a bold stance and yet another sign that he isn’t simply keeping the CEO seat warm until Twitter finds someone permanent.”
The question remains whether Twitter will attract a new audience just because it has a longer character count.
I think it’s unlikely, but it’s sure to get plenty of attention. I wouldn’t be surprised if the news was leaked just as a way to gauge public opinion about it.
Reaction among the Twitter faithful have been largely negative:
I really disagree with removing the 140-character limit on Twitter. If you can’t express your point in fewer than 140 characters, then you
— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) September 29, 2015
@businessinsider thay is what makes it great, if it does then it’s just FB 2.0
— Jeff Todd (@wildcatfan26) September 29, 2015
Don’t lift the character limit. Word economy is the last line of defense keeping twitter from becoming Facebook.
— Zeddonymous (@ZeddRebel) September 29, 2015
Without the 140 character limit, Twitter becomes a 2nd Facebook. And guess what I *don’t* need?
— Brian Chillmeade (@jteeDC) September 29, 2015
Several people made the same joke:
There are reports that Twitter is planning to go beyond its 140-character limit. This would be a mistake for the following reasons: Firstly,
— Carl Maxim (@carlmaxim) September 29, 2015
twitter getting rid of the 140-character limit is a bad idea. the ability to say what you need to say in as few words as possible is (1/533)
— andy levy (@andylevy) September 29, 2015
I have some really compelling thoughts about Twitter going away from a 140 character limit, which I will lay out eloquently within the confi
— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) September 29, 2015
What do you think? Will increasing the Twitter character limit really just make it “Facebook 2.0”?