CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey indicated his intentions in a tweet on Tuesday, after the Re/Code report citing anonymous sources said Twitter was considering extending its limits to up to 10,000 characters.
Dorsey posted a screenshot with a text of 1,325 characters. If posts of up to 10,000 characters were allowed then text of up to 1,700 words could be posted. The company did not comment on its plans. Some users are already including screenshots of extensive text in their tweets. Twitter would like to allow more text without creating huge piles of text garbage produced by windbags. Dorsey claims imposing some degree of brevity encourages “creativity and brevity. And a sense of speed. We will never lose that feeling,” he promised. Dorsey may fear a backlash to his proposals by some Twitter users who are wedded to the 140 character limit that has been part of the system for many years. Shareholders, on the other hand, may be quite happy to see any change that brings in more users and revenue.
During the past year-and-a-half Twitter’s growth has slowed dramatically. It has yet to make a profit. This makes it essential that Twitter grow so as to provide more advertising revenue. Dorsey returned to the company after CEO Dick Costolo left the company in July. Dorsey had actually been ousted back in 2008.
The 140 character limit is now antiquated. Originally Dorsey imposed the limit so that Twitter could be easily used on cellphones that had a 160 character limit at the time. The limits faded away several years ago with the advent of smartphones.
Michael Pachter of Webush Securities noted that the longer tweets could be introduced in a way that allowed viewers to see a limited amount of text and then click on a button to see the remainder. Pachter claims: “Twitter is an afterthought in social media right now. They need to do something to drive more usage of the service. If people start using the service more frequently, other users will come join in, too.”