This Would Change Everything For Twitter

by Alicia Lu

Tuesday will be remembered as the day when everything changed. According to a report by Re/code, Twitter will extend its 140-character limit. Well, sort of. According to multiple sources who spoke to Re/code, Twitter is creating a product that will enable users to tweet more than 140 characters, but the limit will stay put on the platform itself. Since its inception, Twitter's 140-character limit has been the subject of much scrutiny, with many seeing the boundary as too stringent. While the company has introduced several tweaks to the user experience to address this, this new product could be groundbreaking for those who want to pour their thoughts out on Twitter.

While the details about the new product are still under wraps for the most part, several people familiar with the update told Re/code that the character increase has been the subject of much debate under the helm of interim CEO Jack Dorsey, who replaced former CEO Dick Costolo in July. Under Dorsey's direction, sources say, the company is starting to step out of its comfort zone more in an attempt to expand its user base, and a product that extends the character limit is just the latest way to appeal to new users.

It's a refreshing new phase for Twitter, as one current employee described to Re/code.

People have been very precious at Twitter about what Twitter can be and how much it can be evolved. Having Jack come in and say it's okay makes all the difference in the world.
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Other possibilities that have been tossed around board rooms recently, according to the sources, include removing handles and links from the 140-character count in order to enable users to type more. All of us have probably experienced the frustration of having to sacrifice a hashtag just to make your main message fit, so these tweaks will certainly be very welcome.

However, this isn't the first time Twitter has attempted to satisfy the many users who have so much more to say than 140 characters can fit. In June, the company announced that it was extending its DM limit from 140 characters to 10,000 characters — a significant, but totally reasonable jump. Who wants to message each other in short bursts?

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Right now, there are numerous third-party tools that allow you to tweet more than 140 characters, like JumboTweet, TwitLonger, XLTweet, and OneShot, but this will be the company's first in-house product that will allow users to tweet to their heart's content (well, at least a little more so).