Twitter shook the world of Social media today by announcing out of the blue that it is starting trials for 280 character tweets. The pilot group is made up of selected users and is an attempt to revitalise the ailing platform.
Twitter burst onto the world stage back in July 2006 as a micro-blogging social media platform. With tweets limited to 140 characters one of the big draws to Twitter, alongside the use of hashtags, was that users had to be creative with the limited character length. The 140 Character limit was imposed due to the limitation of SMS messaging at the time Twitter was launched.
Fast forward 11 years and those limitations are no longer in place, so why has it taken Twitter so long to react? According to Aliza Rosen, Product manager for Twitter, The move has nothing to do with technology but is to address the imbalance between languages:
“Languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.
We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean).”
In reality, this move smacks of desperation and panic as Twitter continues to lose users and its stock price is falling rapidly. Twitter has changed so much from its early days of public microblogging to now being the dominant site for customers to interact with businesses and celebrities That I feel doubling the number of characters allowed in a tweet is not enough to save the platform.
With prominent users abandoning the platform and daily stories of abuse and harassment I cant foresee Twitter being around for much longer. What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you welcome the increase in characters or do you prefer Twitter to stay at 140? Do you still use the platform or have you left it entirely?
As always let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. And for all your daily updates on Toys, Tech, and Gaming keep right here at Clubit.tv