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Twitter Opts to Keep 140-Character Limit in Place - For Now at Least

Mark this down as one less reason for uproar amongst Twitter users. In an interview on The Today Show this morning, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed that the 140-character limit for tweets will remain unchanged. When asked directly about the possibility of the 140-character limit being lifted, Dorsey said:

"It's staying. It's a good constraint for us. It allows for ‘of-the-moment’ brevity."

Dorsey noted that while they are looking to change a lot of things as part of their ongoing efforts to make Twitter better, the 140 character limit would not be one of them. At least for now.

This comes after Dorsey himself fuelled speculation of a possible lifting of the character limit with this tweet back in January.

This style of tweet is something that’s been on the increase, people posting long snippets of text within an image attached to a tweet, effectively hacking the 140 character limit. Given that users are already doing this, and that Twitter would benefit from being able to actually search and utilize the full data of these longer missives, the speculation was that Twitter would look to extend tweets in the same way they’d already done with Direct Messages (of which the limits were boosted to 10,000 characters back in August).

But, of course, as with any proposed change on Twitter, the platform’s passionate user base had opinions.  

People were none too pleased with the suggestion that tweets might be extended – imagine long, 2,000+ word tweets clogging up your timeline, being flooded with massive promotional messages from spammers, the size of which would effectively render the platform useless. Reports suggested that the idea being discussed didn’t exactly match these concerns – longer tweets were more likely to look something like this (below), with an option to ‘read more’ at the end:

But regardless, users fired off their complaints, their concerns, their ideas for how to make Twitter better - of which Dorsey and Co could surely never be in short supply.

So no need for a new #RIPTwitter movement, no need to issue a new set of problems for Twitter to prioritize instead of longer tweets (an edit option?) – Dorsey says everything’s all good. For now.

But for those who are aching to share their concerns/ideas/thoughts, don’t worry. The next Twitter update controversy is never too far away.

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