Twitter10k07 January 2016
Twitter seems likely to announce an increase in its post character count, upwards from 140, sometime in the next few months. For many it’ll be a welcome move, especially given that 140 characters is artificially restrictive - a holdover from the time Twitter ran on the back of SMS messaging.
140’s all very well, encourages people to be concise, and gives just enough space for a status update or headline and link; but the fact that alternative services exist to increase the character count (after a quick redirect outside Twitter) means the time has come to grow the posts.
10,000 characters is of course a rumour, based on the same limit already existing within direct messages (I’ve not tried it.) Whilst it seems to me to be ridiculously excessive (I struggle to fill a 2048-character App.net personal message) is seems (Internet speculation) that only the first 140 characters of a Tweet will be shown in the standard timeline…
Phew, I’m glad they seem to be thinking of retaining the same level of scrolling I’d need to reach the top!
So, post length and the timeline out of the way, what’s next to like?
Dropping an edit button into the laps of the majority of users is playing with fire. Most will admit the ability to edit a post must be included for 10k posts. I’m inclined to agree, but only because I can trust myself not to change the context of my posts after a ‘negative’ reply or one from a user I simply don’t like.
An edit, by the way, is not the same as a delete and retweet; an edit preserves the flow of a conversation, a delete leaves a telltale gap.
Most users are content to post, to chat, to look at kitten pics. Most simply won’t spot, nor care about, the ‘Edited’ indicator. Outrage is bound to follow.
My summary of a 10k limit: meh.
What I’d like to see is a Facebook Groups-like feature. No, not lists with every tweet public, but a community builder. Reduce the character count to a reasonable 4096 (a more sociable level) drop a shed load of metadata in each post, make me happy. Heck, I’d pay to remove the ads and user tracking across the rest of the web, but I can’t see Twitter or especially Facebook relinquishing their monetisers.
*I reserve the right to edit this post.