Twitter rumored to change character limit

Weslee Clyde

New speculation of the character limit being changed on Twitter has caused a buzz over the last few weeks.

According to an article entitled “Twitter Plans to Go Beyond Its 140-Character Limit” released on Re/code, an influencers-only blog, Twitter has released information saying that they are working on building a product that will allow users to produce content exceeding 140 characters.

Twitter users can already tweet out longer blocks of text using other apps, but doing this doesn’t actually publish the text to Twitter.

Jack Dorsey was announced as Twitter’s CEO early October and according to Re/code, says that he is supportive of potential change, mentioning Twitter has always been very sensitive to change in fear that it would go against the principles that Twitter was created on.

The 140-character limit has been a staple of Twitter since it was created in 2006. Twitter was born on brevity and being a mobile friendly social media outlet, according to the article.   

Sophomore fashion design major Lincoln Griffin and junior photo illustration major Jacqueline Wammes discussed how Twitter could manage the change.

“If they bumped the limit up to 250 that would be fine, but if they take it away completely you are just going to have these long drawn out paragraphs,” Griffin said.

Griffin live-tweets Kent State hockey games and said that it is very hard to fit into the limit.

“I always get like 23 characters over and have to go back and write the letter ‘u’ or eliminate spaces until it looks bad, but the message still gets across,” Griffin said.

Wammes acknowledged that Twitter wants to get more users and is looking for change.

“If they do take off the limit, it will become (like) Facebook … People already don’t use Facebook anymore so maybe then people won’t use Twitter either,” Wammes said.

It is unsure whether Twitter is planning to completely eliminate the character limit or just raise the limit.

“Maybe they could just add a ‘read more’ option like they do on other sites, otherwise the posts will interrupt your feed,” Griffin said.

Along with considering tweaking the character limit, Twitter is also reconsidering how to measure a “character.” Currently, placing links and photos into a tweet takes a large amount of the users 140-character limit, according to Re/code.

Changing what counts as a character would leave users more room to add their own words to a tweet.

Twitter added a “retweet with comment” option in April, giving users the opportunity to interact more directly and with more space to do so.

The company also decided to lift the character count on direct messages recently, following the style of Facebook.

Tweaking the character limit may never reach consumers but according to Re/code, Twitter is desperate to attract users and CEO Dorsey wants to reach a more mainstream audience. 

Weslee Clyde is a student life reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].