Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  What will Twitter’s length change mean for social media?

What will Twitter’s length change mean for social media?

twitter

Social media popularity comes and goes in waves; it wasn’t that long ago that your social media presence could be measured by how many MySpace friends you had, back when Facebook insisted that every status update had to start with your name followed by “is”.

In 2017, MySpace is all but a memory, and Facebook will let you publish status using any grammatical form you’d like. Social media services change, in other words, because those that run them want to ensure that their user bases at least stay engaged, if not in fact growing. It’s always worth bearing in mind that these services are offered for free because we (as the users) are supplying both rich personal information about our activities which can be used for analysis and marketing, as well as our eyeballs which can be subjected to paid advertising within the social media space.

The latest social media service to make a major change is “microblogging” platform Twitter, which recently doubled the acceptable length of a tweet (a message on the platform) from 140 characters to 280 characters. Twitter announced a trial of the idea not that long ago, before turning on the ability for most users recently to tweet any thought, concept or argument twice the length they used to be able to. The primary limitation of 140 characters will still apply if you’re tweeting in Japanese, Korean or Chinese, however.

If you’re wondering why Twitter used 140 characters originally, you can blame SMS. Individual SMS messages are capped at 160 characters, and Twitter originally wanted to be SMS-compatible to ensure a wide variety of message delivery methods, although few would be that interested in Twitter-over-SMS now.

The shift has seen a number of users, both en masse and some high profile individuals come out against the double character limit, citing the potential for greater levels of online abuse and the forced brevity that the 140 character limit imposed. Twitter had already dropped the 140 character limit for direct messages — in essence, private tweets sent directly from one Twitter user to another — and the company just sees this as another step on the road.

At the same time it’s doubled Twitter message lengths, it’s also extended the display names users can adopt from 20 characters up to 50. This isn’t the twitter handle — the identifying name prefixed with an ‘@’ symbol — but the displayed title used within Twitter apps and the Twitter web interface. That’s less contentious, as many users do like to append funny or topical sections into their names, and some names are simply longer if fully expressed.

It’s a delicate balancing act for Twitter, however, because it very much wants to remain a cultural force and not go the way of the aforementioned MySpace. If you’re a Twitter user and you’re not seeing the 280 character limit, try refreshing your browser or updating your Twitter app, although bear in mind that some third party Twitter apps may not yet support the newer 280 character limit. Also bear in mind that sometimes less is more, and just because you can talk for twice as long in a single tweet now doesn’t always mean that you should.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Recent News

chomecast

Wi-Fi is nothing new, and for the most part, we just take it for granted, typically with the router supplied by our ISPs doing all the heavy lifting. The routers supplied by most ISPs really aren’t all that great if you crave high performance, but for the majority of consumers they’re suitable, if not exciting…. More 

8thgen

For decades now, if you were buying a PC, you essentially had two choices when it came to the processor that ran it. For the most part, Intel’s processors under various branding such as Pentium or Core were what you were most likely to hit, with rival AMD’s CPUs generally found in lower-cost machines, or… More 

spectremeltdown

Usually when you hear about large scale security problems, it’s because there’s been an obscure exploit of some incredibly complicated code that somebody’s worked out a way around, leading to the need for software patches, or an entirely human error where access was pilfered via purely social means. Hardware flaws that affect computer security aren’t… More 

password

2017 was a year of some very large security breaches across all sorts of companies, from smaller online merchants all the way up to bigger brands, such as the uber-leak that came out of, well, Uber, where a data leak saw the records of some 57 million users worldwide compromised. As such, you would think… More