Twitter is rumoured be abandoning its 140-character per tweet limit, possibly raising it to a hefty 10,000 characters.
Re/Code cited sources familiar with Twitter's plans in reporting that the social media site could see fluctuations in its traditional character limit imposed on tweets, and is testing a product that displays tweets in their current form but reveals longer pieces of text when clicked on.
There are no definite release schedule or confirmed plans for such changes, but Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, posted a long-form tweet (as seen below) that outlined plans to look at the current character limit.
The potential of such plans is that Twitter could challenge more flexible social networking sites such as Facebook.
Such a change is indicative of the influence Dorsey is having on Twitter after his temporary role at the helm became permanent in October. Dorsey made his presence felt by axing 336 jobs shortly after his appointment to the full-time position.
Rumours and speculation circulated over the second half of 2015 as to how and when Twitter might lengthen the number of characters it allows per tweet.
If the sources are correct and the rumours come to fruition, Twitter may become quite a different social media platform to the one that exists at the moment.
The move could be a gamble for Twitter as previous experimental changes, such as following accounts automatically or allowing the sharing of lists of blocked users, have raised speculation about the direction and values of Twitter, and some changes have simply incurred the wrath of users.
As such, Twitter will need to be careful in how it integrates any plans to lengthen tweets, ideally striking a balance of adding more flexibility to the content of tweets while retaining the feel, appearance and familiarity of Twitter to which its millions-strong user base has become accustomed.
Twitter will also need to consider how to tackle the risk of people, companies and malicious users spamming the site with long tweets of marketing content, irrelevant information or abuse.
Twitter cut the 140-character limit to its direct messaging and raised it to 10,000 characters in August, so it perhaps comes as no surprise that the firm should be considering having longer tweets. Time will tell how effective and welcome such changes will be.
Fabes has held senior IT positions for over 30 years
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