Have you noticed those super-long tweets, hidden behind the ‘Show more’ indicator, appearing in your Twitter feed? Want to see even longer tweets?
If you answered yes, you’re in luck, because Elon Musk says that longer long tweets, up to 10k characters, are coming soon to the app.
To recap, the current long-form tweets, now available to Twitter Blue subscribers, can be up to 4,000 characters long, and were released early last month.
It still seems ironic to me that Twitter itself couldn’t find any good reason to post a longer tweet to highlight the functionality, but nevertheless, 4k tweets are now available to the 300,000 users paying for Twitter Blue, and are being used to share longer content in the app.
And soon, it’s going to expand even more, with Blue subscribers able to post massive, long reams of text as tweets.
Which seems a little out of place, maybe not what Twitter is about – but Musk and Co. are keen to get more long-form content in the app, in order to keep users engaged, while also, eventually, providing a new avenue for creator monetization in the app.
Because once people are spending more time watching a video or reading a longer tweet, Twitter can insert ads, then share revenue from such with creators. It’s still a way off becoming a thing, but that’s the longer term vision for long-form content in the app, with long tweets being another part of an expanded Twitter eco-system that will no longer require creators to redirect their audiences to other platforms to view their content.
The question, then, is whether creators, and users, actually want that. Twitter’s built its reputation as the short-form leader, as the place you go to get up-to-the-minute updates on the latest events and happenings, in quick, bite-sized summaries. There’s an art to being good at Twitter due to its brevity, and it does seem like expanding the length of tweets could go against that.
Still, there was a heap of backlash when Twitter went from 140 to 280 characters back in 2017, yet the usage data since has shown that people like having more characters to work with. So while it may seem like a counter-intuitive move, sometimes, those changes work anyway, and it may well be that more people do find more value in posting longer content within tweets, with all new use cases and options arising as a result.
And if you don’t want to, you don’t have to post longer missives. In this sense, it’s probably a fairly safe, and lo-fi bet for Twitter to roll out, even if 10k character tweets do look weird on initial viewing.
Either way, it’s happening, with Musk pushing for more long-form content options to facilitate expanded engagement in the app. So get ready for super long tweets, which expand to take-up your whole timeline.
I mean, the UI might look different to that – maybe more like its ‘Notes’ long-form option that it was testing last year.
✨ Introducing: Notes ✨— Twitter Write (@TwitterWrite) June 22, 2022
We’re testing a way to write longer on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/SnrS4Q6toX
That was depreciated as part of the Musk takeover, but maybe, at 10k characters, it makes more sense to re-use this format for displaying longer posts in the app.
Seems that we’ll find out – Elon says that 10k tweets are coming soon.