Earlier this year, Twitter was rumored to explore the possibility of expanding its iconic 140-character tweet limit. But unfortunately for all the users who hoped they could soon write an inspirational essay in tweet form, CEO Jack Dorsey has some bad news.
It seems the limit is here to stay, as Dorsey said in an interview on Friday. “It’s staying. It’s a good constraint for us, and it allows for of-the-moment brevity.” Well said, Dorsey.
Back in January, some reports claimed Twitter was toying with the idea of accommodating as many as 10,000 characters in its tweets – which would’ve been quite a big jump from the current 140.
A lot of users took to Twitter to express concern for the possible change, and even outrage, arguing that getting rid of the trademark 140-character limit would ruin the site’s design from tits very foundation.
Dorsey finally put to bed any such rumors with a swift response. In an expanded tweet, he explained that Twitter is definitely going to integrate new features, but expanding the tweets’ character limit isn’t one of them.
New features, he added, will be consistent with how people want to use the service. At the same time, Dorsey isn’t blind to the users’ desire to be able to share longer pieces of text on Twitter.
You’ve probably seen it yourself – people take screenshots of text and then tweet it because otherwise the message would surpass the 140-character limit.
But “what if that text… was actually text?” tweeted Dorsey. Users could search and highlight text, giving them more power and utility. But in spite of the temptation of a longer character limit, the young CEO said the current restraint isn’t going away.
Twitter is still up for changes, such as removing the limit for the Direct Message tool last summer. DM supports private and group messaging, so some users expect this type of change to reach public tweets as well. It’s possible Twitter will introduce at some point a tweet-expanding feature.
Ever since he came on board in July, Dorsey’s leadership was marked by his commitment to making bold product changes. The site has become easier to use and had more immediately valuable to the general population, instead of addressing just core users.
After struggling with slowing user growth, Twitter started focusing on revamping the product. Excluding SMS “fast-followers” who visit the site from a feature phone, the number of monthly active users had dropped from 307 million in the third quarter to 305 million in the fourth quarter.
Image Source: Vanity Fair