Twitter has been at the top of the must use social media apps since its launch in 2006. The 140 character limit, the blue bird, the words ‘tweet’ and ‘twit’ were all immortalized by this app.
But now, Twitter is doing away with one of the biggest features it is known for by increasing their character limit from 140 to 280.
And I believe it is the biggest mistake Twitter has made till yet.
After almost a decade, Twitter has finally, after much begging and pleading by people all over the world, increasing their character length from their original 140 and doubled it to 280.
The app which became a global phenomenon, and has now surpassed being a mere entertainment platform, to one that can almost sustain a business has had many ups and downs.
They announced yesterday that is on Tuesday 28th September 2017 that Twitter will be going from 140 to 280 characters for all languages except Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
The move has been made in order to even out the balance between languages like English and the above-mentioned languages.
And it is true, languages like Korean and Chinese can explain and convey more in lesser characters than languages like English or Spanish.
In their official post, Twitter said: “Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese.”
At the moment, this move is only limited to a small group of people, as it is tested to iron out any kinks and will slowly be made available to the entire user base of Twitter. This test group is mainly comprised of people who tweet using English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Why Is This Such A Big Mistake?
To be quite honest, this move might just be Twitter’s biggest mistake, and could even result in their downfall.
Of course, the downfall is just my own speculation but all in all, Twitter just took away the one defining feature it had over the multitude of other and much better apps that are coming out every second day.
In a time when the digital world is booming and making an app is no longer difficult, it is all about that one unique factor that brings users to an app.
The 140 character limit was that for Twitter, sure it might have been a pain in the butt sometimes, but it also challenged people, it made them concise and shorten their thoughts to just those few characters.
And having taken away that very edge of theirs, soon Twitter will join the barrage of other apps that are just there.
In a way, they are taking away the soul of the app, they are taking away what made Twitter ‘Twitter’.
Of course, not to mention that Twitter would rather spend time and effort on such menial updates rather than working on the more pertinent issues that are spread across the platform.
They could have instead added the ‘edit’ feature to their tweets, where one could edit a tweet that has been sent out.
Or perhaps address the slew of racism, cyberbullying, and hatred that is spread across the site and tried to update their security process and take harsher steps against those who are spreading violence.
The limited characters was not really that big of a problem, over the years there have been ways that people can convey a lot of information, such as by creating threads, or post images of your notes where you can write in detail what you want. One can even use platforms like Twit Longer and more which allow one to write longer posts.
But instead of focusing on the important issues like fake news and fake accounts, Twitter chose to ‘increase their character length’ and take away the essence of the site.
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