Twitter has officially changed its character count from 140 to 280 characters.
Back in September, Twitter began to play around with 280 characters. Select accounts were chosen to test the expanded count and this was met with lots of criticism from many users, myself included.
For many users, Twitter is a place to go grab a quick snippet of information, a headline to get your attention, and then click on the link to learn more. Read, digest, move on; quick short and easy to look at.
So often, we tend to find change hard, I remember every time that Facebook would make a major change across it’s platform and users would spend weeks complaining about it, after a short while, it would be forgotten about, accepted and put aside until the next change.
This change though seemed to overall be a harder one for many to accept. Perhaps it is because Twitter has had the character count at 140 since its launch in March of 2006. Twitter was initially designed to be used through text messaging services, and texts are limited to 160 characters. So Twitter’s creators set aside 20 characters for a user-name, and then leaving 140 characters for the “tweet.”
Times have changed, and Twitter is accessed through the desktop or a mobile app, and character limit is not longer needed because of a text. Over the years, many have expressed their frustrations at the 140 character count including Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey.
But did that mean that Twitter needed to make such a drastic change all at once. Back in September when this news first broke, I hopped on an Instagram live with Jen Cole from Backspace Media. We both had our opinions about this and they pretty much lined up. We were AGAINST it!
My stance on the issue was that it was too much all at once. I had spent years learning to carefully craft a Tweet into 140 characters. It was a skill and a challenge and it is part of what made me enjoy Twitter. I felt that if changed were to happen, it needed to be gradual. Bump us up to 180, keep us there for a while, then bump to 200, and then keep it there for a while…You get the picture. But 280 all at once was just too much.
The day the news broke, on November 7, 2017, I watched the face of twitter forever change before my eyes. The amusing part of it all was that every account I managed except my own business account had changed. My account sat at 140…that was until the following morning when I work to find I too was now at 280.
So was this really a bad thing? I started looking at tweets, and I started seeing a crazy abuse of the length. My entire screen was being taken up by one tweet at a time. I was not amused, and I was not happy. I am hoping that the novelty of taking a full screen a tweet will wear off and it will go back to somewhat normalcy, but I fear that it won’t.
Yes, I’m aware that this tweet is the exact abuse that I was talking about, I did it to make a point of how crazy this is.
Social media changes daily, sometimes they are big changes, and sometimes just small ones; however, one thing I do know, is that ultimately I have very little choice but to accept the change. Social Media is my job, my passion and something I don’t plan to give up just because a change was made. So I’m going to try to take on the positivity of Brian Fanzo and embrace this change