Twitter has been looking for ways to revitalize its stagnant growth for some time now. The company has already rolled out new features like Twitter Moments and polls in the last year to attract more users. The latest approach that Twitter is considering to tackle the lack of growth is to ditch the 140-character limit and allow users to input up to 10,000 characters per Tweet. If that sounds like a lot, it’s cause it damn sure is. But don’t fret, you won’t be subject to every obscene rant that floats across your timeline – at least not more than you already are.
While Twitter’s proposed “Beyond 140” feature will let users Tweet way more characters than ever before, only the usual 140 will appear on your timeline. Much like with content from an external source, users will have to click a button to reveal the remainder of a lengthy Tweet. The thinking on Twitter’s part, is that by freeing users of the burden of having to rearrange and condense their thoughts to fit the existing 140-character maximum, new users might be less apprehensive about diving in to the micro-blogging platform. This is the kind of freedom offered by Facebook, a social media platform with no character limit on status updates, and with far more active users than Twitter or any other competitor.
The “Beyond 140” feature could be just what Twitter needs to reach new users, or it could be a double-edged sword. Facebook has managed to circumvent the issue of users leaving the app to view third-party content with their Instant Articles feature. The feature pre-loads news articles that immediately pop up on a page inside the Facebook app when clicked. Twitter may have to take a similar approach to content from publishers if it hopes to make “Beyond 140” an effective addition to the platform. So long as Twitter can come to an agreement that ensures publishers can sell ad space for which they’re adequately compensated (the issue initially soured relations between Facebook and media outlets, as the content sharing model forced the latter to leave money on the table), Twitter’s proposed “Beyond 140” expansion could help the company secure both the user and financial growth it seeks.
According to Re/Code, the “Beyond 140” feature might launch in late Q1 2015. Stay tuned for more details on what could be Twitter’s next gamechanger.[Tech Crunch]
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