So long, 140! Twitter may soon let you share 10,000 characters per post

Posted on January 5, 2016


by Seth Fiegerman of Mashable, additional editing by Adam MS

Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it may no longer be the soul of Twitter.

Twitter is said to be testing a new product that let’s users share up to 10,000 characters at a time, potentially moving beyond the 140 character limit that has defined the social network since it launched a decade ago, according to a report Tuesday from Re/code.

The current plan is reportedly to show just the first 140 characters in the news feed and then allow readers to click to expand the tweet and see the other 9,860 remaining characters. The new option may launch later this quarter.

Reps for Twitter did not immediately respond to Mashable‘s request for comment.

The long rumored decision to overturn its signature character limit is arguably the most notable in a long line of once unthinkable product changes all intended to reignite Twitter’s user growth, which has flatlined a hair above 300 million.

Jack-dorseyTwitter has already expanded the character limit for direct messages (also to 10,000) and begun testing ways to undo the reverse chronological timeline that was its other central feature, effectively making the social network more like Facebook.

“I’ve challenged our teams to look beyond assumptions about what makes Twitter the best place to share what’s happening,” Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and CEO, said on an early conference call with analysts after taking charge of Twitter last year.

Put another way, Twitter is willing to change anything and everything about itself in order to win back the many millions of people who have tried and left — or just refused to try — the social network over the years. Even if it frustrates vocal longtime users, as it surely will.

More to the point: there is no guarantee that overhauling with a key feature of Twitter will do anything to change how non-users feel about the service.

Third-party services like Twitlonger and Branch offered Twitter users the option to go longer than 140 characters, with mixed success. Branch was acquired by Facebook and shut down.

Either you want to share and follow posts from a bunch of public figures and opinionated strangers on a social network not named Facebook — or you don’t. The character length may prove to be secondary.

If nothing else, though, it may just kill one scourge of Twitter: tweetstorms.