Sell your stake in bit.ly! Twitter may soon allow users to post tweets that are longer than 140 characters. Or to put it another way, Twitter may soon become a lesser version of Facebook.
According to Re/Code, the company is working on a new product that will “enable Twitter users to publish long-form content to the service.” There is no word yet on how the product will work or what it will look like, but the idea of expanding beyond the 140-character limit has been debated internally at Twitter for years. And thanks to the company’s Interim CEO Jack Dorsey’s desire to expand beyond Twitter’s traditional audience, the idea has gained momentum.
“People have been very precious at Twitter about what Twitter can be and how much it can be evolved,” a senior employee told Re/Code. “Having Jack come in and say it’s okay makes all the difference in the world.”
The 140-character limit was initially implemented to make Twitter compatible with SMS messaging (SMS has a limit of 160, but Twitter left an extra 20 characters for user names). And the SMS character limit was based in-part on the average length of a message sent on the Telex telegraphy network. So although it may be jarring for some Twitter users to give up the old format, it’s probably not a good idea to let the telegraph dictate how social media is run.