It looks like the end of a social media era. Twitter is planning to drop their signature 140 character tweet limit, opening up the Tweet-gates for everyone. But, will your feed actually look different?
Growing up with Twitter I developed a unique skill. The ability to write 140 characters without even counting! It is a skill I am proud of and one that almost every millennial marketer must have developed by now. In the future, quick character counting is a skill that won’t be needed as Twitter plans to allow users to share tweets much longer than the social media giant’s current 140-character limit.
Recode broke the news of the planned change explaining it was unclear what the new product would look like but it would allow users to publish long-form content. Twitter CEO and Co-founder Jack Dorsey later chimed in with a message that appears to confirm the very limited character count will soon no longer exist.
We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it. Instead, what if the text… was actually text? – Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO & Co-Founder
This is the closest the company has ever come to speaking publicly about the feature. Recode suggested the new Twitter character limit will be a larger 10,000 characters. A number that makes sense given it is the same as the current character restriction on direct messages. The company similarly scrapped the 140 character limit on direct messages last August. You may wonder why the small character count that makes the social networking site so unique began.
Why The Character Count Exists
I never remember Twitter without a character count. The social media sites character limit trademark goes right back to day one. Twitter started when a group of young programmers created a program that sent SMS messages to and from small groups of people. The standard length of a text message is 160-characters. As a result, Twitter founders restricted each tweet to 140 characters to ensure the full tweet could be sent in a single text message along with a Twitter username of up to 20 characters.
The program later evolved into what would become popular social networking site Twitter, consisting of both mobile and web-based messaging. The character count has remained the same until now. Twitter plan to roll out the new less limited character count as soon as the end of this quarter.
What The New Character Count Means For Marketers
The way people communicate on Twitter is different to every other social network. We are forced to be concise and squeeze our marketing message, photos, videos, links, tags, memes, emojis and hashtags in a mere 140 characters. Marketers like myself won’t have long to pick up on the new Twitter etiquette that will come with the almost limitless character count.