You might have heard the term Twitter10K swirling around lately. In case you haven’t, in true (current) Twitter fashion, I’m going to give you a less than 140-character rundown of the idea.
#ICYMI: #Twitter is looking to broaden its 140-character horizons to a massive 10,000 character limit. #Beyond140 #Twitter10K
Yes, you read that right – Twitter is considering a 10,000-character limit. Now, I agree that sometimes the 140-character limit can be just that – limiting. I’m sure you all can relate to this scenario:
You’ve just drafted a witty, yet informational, tweet, pictures and all, only to see the last portion of your post highlighted in red (the worst).
Now, you’ll spend time trying to reconfigure your tweet, likely removing punctuation, changing “you” to “u” and replacing “and” with “&.” It’s a struggle. Finally, once you’re within the character limit, you read over your tweet only to realize it’s lost its message and value, and you scrap it completely.
It’s in these instances that you more than likely wish there was a little more wiggle-room in the character department. The limit has forced some users to get creative, posting more verbose images (even pictures of Post-Its!) to get their longer messages out.
As the news of Twitter10k broke, I began to realize that I was on the fence when it came to the character limit.
On one hand, I agree that some extra characters would be nice. But on the other hand, some of the beauty of Twitter lies in the fact that it forces users to consolidate a message into short, digestible posts. These short but sweet tweets leave others informed but not bogged down with the nitty-gritty details.
So, I began to ask myself, “Is a 10,000 character-limit really necessary?” After all, the Declaration of Independence wasn’t even that long.
So I decided to create a good old-fashioned pros and cons sheet. Here are my thoughts:
- Gone are the days of reworking a tweet to fit within the 140-character limit.
- Brands will be able to educate their followers with more in-depth content, essentially becoming a one-stop shop for news.
- With more content comes more data, which will give companies more information to analyze to better craft their advertising efforts.
- Brevity be gone. The entire platform was built on the foundation that it allows its users to share short updates. Such a large increase of available characters essentially defeats the whole purpose of Twitter and opens the doors to more and more chatter (Hello, Facebook rants via Twitter). You know what I mean, those people who take the “What’s on your mind?” prompt on Facebook a little too seriously and tell you literally everything on their minds.
- “Hello, it’s me … your new cluttered timeline.” – Adele. Just kidding, Adele never said that but, can you image your Twitter timeline if there was a 10,000 character-limit? Talk about cluttered! For brands especially, this big of a character limit would make breaking through the clutter of the social media market that much harder.
- Just because you can tweet with more words doesn’t mean that you’ll receive more engagement. Implementing this change might take users a long time to adapt to the new make-up of the social media platform. In the notoriously fast-moving digital space, will users stick around?
After weighing out the pros and cons of this new feature, I decided to take my question to the masses and used none other than Twitter’s poll option to ask our followers the following question:
We asked about Twitter10k, you answered. Here are the results that we received from our Flying Cork Twitter poll.
As you can see, 63% of voters are against this idea, while 24% are in favor of adding an “Edit Tweet” option. Because, let’s not forget about the times when your message fits perfectly and you publish the tweet only to realize a spelling or spacing error– *hits delete and republishes.*That’s where an “Edit Tweet” option could come in handy.
Rounding out the three choices were the 13% of respondents who said they’d love to see 10,000 character-posts on their timeline.
In the end, Twitter’s latest attempts to update their platform have included placing a larger emphasis on images and video, thereby making the experience more visual. I can’t help but think that upping the character limit will have Twitter turning into a knockoff version of Facebook or Instagram before you know it.
Well, that’s my take on the idea of Twitter10K. I guess only time will tell if Jack Dorsey’s favorite number will remain 140 or change to 10,000.