Twitter may finally respond to millions of users’ unanimous complain of expanding the 140 character limit, to include the full 140 characters and not counting URLs as characters. The move, if confirmed, could come as a welcome relief for users who already complain of the lack of adequate space to Tweet continuous stories or longer sentences without succumbing to annoying texting lingo.
When Twitter was launched, it followed classic text messages based restrictive limits of 140 characters per Tweet. Originally launched as a one-to-many SMS service, Twitter allowed a margin of 20 characters so that users may a 20 character username into a text within the 160 character text. However, this was much before the era of smart phones, where texts have almost end, if send via a web based instant messaging service such as BBM, Whatsapp, iMessage or Facebook messenger etc. Now Twitter has evolved into a broadcasting giant, and is marketing itself not just to connect to public figures but also as a faster source of dissemination of information. This requires lesser constrictions on the character limit while also maintain Twitters unique selling point – having the ability to Tweet shorter and more conscience Tweets.
Twitter already shortens URLS or attached links or uploaded images to a maximum of 23 characters for attaching the image. Earlier, this was limited to 20 characters, but having millions of users upload millions worth in data required larger URLs. However, it has also cut users some slack with the ability to upload up to four photos to one Tweet while maintaining the Tweet itself would carry only one photo associated URL. For all practical purposes, a Tweet can run to a tiny limit of 117 characters only if you’re attaching an image or a URL.
Twitter has since years expressed its interest to expand character limits and change the way users search and find data. Among users demands include not including the username’s tag within this limit, or hashtags but these moves would also not change its fundamental problems of stagnant user growth and its portrayal for public fighting, mockery and shaming than connecting. Several critics have remarked Twitter doesn’t really know how to expand its product and service and this is reflected with its diminishing ad revenues, the world’s third largest social network has serious doubts about expanding its profitability. Still, if Twitter finally listens to the user’s demands, it would prove to be mutually beneficial.
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