Twitter may be building a new product that will allow tweets longer than 140 characters. It may also change the way Twitter measures its 140-character limit. It may remove aspects such as links and user handles from the 140 character count. At time of publishing, it is not known if or when Twitter will introduce these changes.
Sources close to Re/Code have said that the new product will allow users to publish long-form content to the service. However, it is still unclear as to what the product will look like. Sources have also said that the push to go beyond the 140-character limit has resurfaced under interim CEO Jack Dorsey. One senior employee said, “People have been very precious at Twitter about what Twitter can be and how much it can be evolved. Having Jack come in and say it’s okay makes all the difference in the world.” By increasing the character limit, it is hoped that publishers may choose to share directly on Twitter more often.
The 140-character limit is one of Twitter’s trademark limiting features since it began. But, recently, Twitter has been experimenting with going beyond the character limit in an attempt to grow its user base. Last year, Twitter added a “retweet with comment” feature. This feature allows users to show the original tweet in a Twitter Card, while leaving them with enough space for their own words.
It was reported earlier that Twitter was removing the 140-character limit for Direct Messaging. In August, the update was rolled out for its Android and iOS apps, twitter.com, TweetDeck, and Twitter for Mac.
A survey by the American Press Institute and Twitter showed that the social network is the best source for breaking news. Out of 5,000 social media users who participated in the survey, 86 per cent had said that they used Twitter for news. Out of these, 74 per cent had said that they did so, daily. The participants also said that they did so to pass time.
Twitter had also recently updated its iOS 9 and Android apps. The iOS 9 update allowed for split-screen multitasking functionality for iPads, and Twitter was one of the first to support the new feature. The company also introduced a 'Highlights' feature. This feature provides a summary of the top tweets based on the user’s interests and networks, via push notifications.