Humans are, by nature, creatures of habit. Many of us are averse to change. Remember when Facebook rejiggered the "Wall" as a "Timeline?" Or more recently, when Twitter ditched "Favorites" for "Likes." Even these seemingly innocuous changes provoked pretty harsh responses from fans of both platforms.
When people react as if they have been personally wronged by such minor modifications, one can only imagine what would happen if there were ever to actually be a substantial change. Well, it looks like that change is here. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Twitter is internally testing an update that would make it possible to have up to 10,000 characters in a Tweet, as opposed to the current 140 character limit.
There is no official word as to when the update will go live, but some reports indicate as early as March. Naturally, a tweetstorm quickly followed the news, and out of the tumult came the hashtag: #Twitter10k.
Some early surveying by Brandwatch indicates that opinion is almost evenly split between for and against the change. Below (in no particular order) is a compilation of some of the best tweets from the #Twitter10k tag along with my commentary. Some are funny, some are insightful, and some are in between.
You may have seen this image floating around already. Basically taking a shot at Twitter for negating it's USP and becoming a long-form medium like Facebook.
Will Twitter flourish as a real-time customer support platform with the virtually unlimited character update?
Jack Dorsey is looking to cut down on "signposting," aka, when Twitter is only used to redirect to actual content on another platform.
Important to consider with the update is how many people will actually click on the "..." to expand a tweet if they have the option.
Not sure if 10,000 characters really qualifies as a novel, but ok.
Unnecessary changes is what makes people delete their Social Media account. #Twitter10k— ❂ Yübbîę Umoh ❂ (@Yubbie007) January 7, 2016
Twitter is certainly going to Miss You.
Maybe for the best?
I F Y O U T H I N K T H I S T W E E T I S A N N O Y I N G J U S T I M A G I N E W H A T #Twitter10k W I L L F E E L L I K E— Kaleb Nation (@KalebNation) January 6, 2016
While this tweet is certainly annoying, it likely wouldn't become more annoying after the update because you would have to voluntarily expand the tweet to see any characters after the original 140 limit.
NOOOO twitter. I don't want people to come here and share their breakup stories. That's the reason we left facebook. #Twitter10k— ayesha. (@seasonologist) January 7, 2016
I understand the sentiment. However, I would rather have to only skip past one breakup tweet that I could expand, if I chose to, rather than 4 consecutive breakup tweets because they couldn't fit their whole sob story into 140 characters.
"I dont think a tweet needs more than 140 characters" - give us an edit button instead 😕?! #Twitter10k— Nabeel Khan (@hyp3rfr3ak) January 7, 2016
Also understand this sentiment and have found myself asking for an "Edit Tweet" button a few times. To play devil's advocate though, part of the fun of Twitter is the real-time, stream of consciousness character of the app. If you could go back and edit something, it could potentially diminish some of this fun.
Variety of interesting insights after the jump. Particularly, about how consumers will be able to give fuller expressions about products/needs for products in a single tweet. This increase in available data will allow marketers to paint better pictures of their audiences and their wants.
Picard thinks that Twitter will "become a sea of marketing slurry" after the expansion.
The longer format could open the door for highly regulated industries such as alcohol, and pharmaceuticals who need to meet disclosure requirements on the platform.
Kermit doesn't seem too bothered by #Twitter10k.
A pleasing little tweet Should just be short & sweet For long posts we have Reddit The change we need is 'Edit' #Twitter10k— Gav (@miracleofsound) January 6, 2016
Truly moving, although I usually prefer an AB rhyme scheme.
If it wasn't for the 140 character limit, I'd be on Chapter 27 of my first tweet right now. #Twitter10k— Cameron Dallas (@thenikhilkapur) January 6, 2016
Just because you have the characters doesn't mean you have to use them.
Instead of #Twitter10k can we just make it so that usernames/handles don't count towards the 140 character limit? That's all. Thanks.— James Lees (@jamesvsburger) January 6, 2016
This was probably a feature originally so bots couldn't @ everyone on Twitter.
The outrage at #Twitter10k is hilarious. I'd rather post a tweet with a read more button after 140, than screenshot text or link offsite.— Philip DeFranco (@PhillyD) January 6, 2016
Someone gets it.
Saved the best for last. Dramatic? Definitely. Accurate? Probably.
Personally, I don't mind the update at all, as long as it is implemented properly. As many others have said, the update will cut down on brands using the platform only as a redirecting tool. It will greatly amplify the amount of useful data that marketers can extract about their target audiences. To all the detractors saying that brands will start posting lengthy sales pitches; they might. And they will quickly learn that you do not need to use all 10,000 characters to market effectively.
Please let us know how YOU feel about #Twitter10k in the comments below or tweet us @LikeableLocal.