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Twitter Social Networks

Twitter To Extend 140-Character Limit For Tweets (recode.net) 174

An anonymous reader writes: According to Re/code, Twitter is doing away with its 140-character limit for tweets. The company is currently planning on increasing the limit to 10,000 characters, though the final number may change before they roll it out. "Twitter is currently testing a version of the product in which tweets appear the same way they do now, displaying just 140 characters, with some kind of call to action that there is more content you can't see. Clicking on the tweets would then expand them to reveal more content. The point of this is to keep the same look and feel for your timeline, although this design is not necessarily final, sources say."
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Twitter To Extend 140-Character Limit For Tweets

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  • by ShaunC ( 203807 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2016 @11:20PM (#51245959)

    I wonder what ramifications this will have on peoples' data plan usage.

    • by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2016 @11:32PM (#51246033)

      Minimal compared to what they would have paid to send the messages by SMS (before unlimited plans).

      • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @02:25AM (#51246707) Homepage Journal

        Minimal compared to what they would have paid to send the messages by SMS (before unlimited plans).

        Before "before unlimited plans", SMS used to be free. The phone companies didn't start charging for SMS until the late 90s.

        First, there was no cost as it was part of the GSM standard, and the packets went in-between other traffic, creating no extra load. With GSM being the only system that had text messaging, there was no talks of charging anything. If anything, it was meant to generate traffic like "please call me when you can", and promote increased talk time.

        But then the phone companies went to extra steps to be able to block SMS, so they could charge fees for not blocking it, backwards as it sounds.
        And as if that wasn't enough, they went one step further, and started counting SMSes and where they terminated, so they could charge extra for both the amount and the source/destination.

        Now they're offering "unlimited" SMS. Which was free in the first place. And most of them don't even offer unlimited SMS, but charge extra for sending or receiving SMS across borders, or requiring an extra monthly fee for that privilege on top of the "unlimited".
        It's a rip-off.

        • While technically it's correct that mobile phone companies didn't charge for SMS messages at some point before unlimited plans, the way you've worded it - in particular the comment you're responded to - kinda implies that we went right from "free" to "unlimited plans" without a long, painful, period in between where every message was charged for. Remember too that "free SMS" only applied for a short period of time when you couldn't even message people off-network, and few operators allowed you to send mess

          • Remember too that "free SMS" only applied for a short period of time when you couldn't even message people off-network, and few operators allowed you to send messages via the web.

            Free SMS was the situation long before phones had access to the Internet, let alone the WWW. I had free SMS on my mobile in 1995, but I didn't get a mobile with internet access until about 3 or so years ago.

        • But then the phone companies went to extra steps to be able to block SMS, so they could charge fees for not blocking it, backwards as it sounds. And as if that wasn't enough, they went one step further, and started counting SMSes and where they terminated, so they could charge extra for both the amount and the source/destination.

          Doesn't sound backwards at all if your intent is to make money off of people. I get that it would be nice to not have to pay for it but that's not how capitalism works. And the fa

    • 10K words should be enough to tweet your 40 page (double spaced) English essay @ your teacher.

      • 640 characters should be enough for everyone.
  • So... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by taxman_10m ( 41083 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2016 @11:21PM (#51245967)

    Is Twitter only threatening suicide or do they really mean it?

    • I don't see it as "suicide" any more than being able to attach photos to a Tweet was. You'd get the headline in the Tweet and the article in an attached text file.

      • "I don't see it as "suicide" any more than being able to attach photos to a Tweet was. "

        We had email newsletters doing all that for over 40 years.

      • aging systems with multiple text-entry fields. You know, like they'll start a message wherever the cursor goes, then tab to the next field when they run out of space. Or they'll fill the first 140 characters with salutations and declarations of importance. People suck at titles, headings, and summaries. The (questionable) beauty of twitter is to force people to write only short, complete messages, easily read at a glance.

        De-twittering twitter makes it email, and a twitter feed with 50 headlines saying "Im

    • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.LAPLACEnet minus math_god> on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @06:03AM (#51247063) Homepage

      It makes sense because it's what a lot of tweets already do. Headline and a link to a longer article. All they are doing is providing a space for the longer article on their site, rather than having the user go to a different site to read it. The Twitter app already opens external sites in its own built in browser so that the user doesn't need to switch away from it.

      Why not keep people on the site and grab the be associated revenue?

      • by gsslay ( 807818 )

        Those "headline" tweets are what I hate most on twitter and I actively avoid accounts that consist of nothing but click-bait to pull you to a website. If I wanted to read a 2 page article I would be browsing the web in a dozen better ways than reading a twitter feed. If I'm reading twitter, I want something short and to the point. I certainly do not want 10k characters, and I do not want to be forever deciding "do I open up this to read further, is it worth it, or is the meat of the comment in the firs

      • Why not keep people on the site and grab the be associated revenue?

        This is exactly what Twitter is doing. This is a direct assault on TwitLonger and other services that let you write long articles and tweet short links to them with a blurb of text. For all their API efforts, Twitter has shown time and again that they don't really like people using the API. It's there, but more so Twitter can see what people use it for and then implement those ideas, locking out the services that originated them, than for

    • I have never used twitter. The thing that made me completely uninterested in using it was mainly the 140 character limit. I get the impression that is something from the days of flip phones with tiny screens and having to type with a number keypad.

      I figured as well that the 140 char limit would just make intelligent conversation impossible. So there would be zero content worth following.

      At 10000 chars, maybe I'll sign up for an account - maybe.

      • I get the impression that is something from the days of flip phones with tiny screens and having to type with a number keypad.

        In fact, before twitter was an "app" or much of a web site, it was a group SMS service. Send a text to 40404 and all of your "followers" get a text with the content. Later they added aliases (usernames), which allowed @ replies to send a message to a specific person.

        It wasn't until late 2006 that you could sign up without a cell phone number involved

  • done before... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by starblazer ( 49187 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2016 @11:26PM (#51245999) Homepage

    Twitters call to fame was quick and concise little blurbs. If someone wanted a full page essay, they would have posted it on livejournal, blogger, or whatever blog/diary/journal site that already exists.

    Expand it to 240, Hell, even an even 200... but making it Yet Another Journal Program.... ugh.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      and getting those blurbs as "free" sms(recipent paid, according to recipents plan).

      true, it started as an oneliner system. but the character limit wasn't random.

      however, in typical internet fashion, 99% of users don't really know or care what twitter was made for. neither does the management.

      what is AMAZING is how FUCKING EXPENSIVE twitter is to run. I mean, such a system - even with all the users - should not really cost the losses the company is making.

      • gotta pay the sales teams somehow.

        • If a sales team doesn't make enough to cover the cost of the sales team, it's time for a new sales team.

          • If a sales team doesn't make enough to cover the cost of the sales team, it's time for no sales team.

            After the move to longer tweets, just start inserting ads selected by Twitter. Then make people have to pay to not see the ads. Say $10/year. Problems solved.
            • Then make people have to pay to not see the ads. Say $10/year. Problems solved.

              Except your user base suddenly dwindles to a few dozen.

    • Bingo! Some MBA trying to justify his or her paycheck? Just because it is technically possible, it doesn't mean it should be done.

    • Re:done before... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Beck_Neard ( 3612467 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @12:12AM (#51246219)

      You didn't even RTFA.

      They aren't going to increase the word limit. They are simply going to provide an 'extended tweet' functionality where you can add more text as an 'add-on' to your tweet.

      You can already link images and shit in your tweets; and a lot of people just post images containing text. This would keep people from doing that. I can't fathom why morons are complaining about this.

      • by DerPflanz ( 525793 ) <bart AT friesoft DOT nl> on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @04:33AM (#51246945) Homepage

        > I can't fathom why morons are complaining about this.

        Strange as it may sound, I have found that the typical Slashdot public is extremely conservative concerning technology. Whenever a (successful) company changes its product or experiments with features, many slashdotters would reply that they are not going to use it, so it has to be crap. Or, they complain how the existing product / version is superior.

        Luckily, the world is not made of slashdotters, and companies and people keep experimenting and trying out new things. And yes, some are indeed crap, but without changing anything, there wouldn't be progress.

        • Strange as it may sound, I have found that the typical Slashdot public is extremely conservative concerning technology. Whenever a (successful) company changes its product or experiments with features, many slashdotters would reply that they are not going to use it, so it has to be crap. Or, they complain how the existing product / version is superior.

          It depends what you mean by "technology". Most IT product launches are basically packaging old technology in a shiny new format, and us geeks only care about the actual technology, so we generally dismiss such products as shiny toys. Moreover, we're bitter because we weren't taken seriously back in the day, when we were doing essentially the same things that's all the rage today, i.e. having a social life online.

    • Twitter is the new Yahoo
  • Buzzfeed Considering Long Form Printed Publication

    Fox News to Create a New Channel Targeting Progressives

    Valve to Start Selling DVDs on Steam

  • by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2016 @11:33PM (#51246039)

    Right now people have taken to including a picture of text in their tweet when announcing big stuff. This is a disaster. It doesn't wrap well for different screen sizes and it makes things hard those assistive devices for poor sight, as they are better at reading text to them than communicating pictures.

    Something must be done. Maybe this is the right fix.

    After we fix that we can go on to eliminating vertical videos.

    • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2016 @11:48PM (#51246135)

      Something must be done. Maybe this is the right fix.

      After we fix that we can go on to eliminating vertical videos.

      I don't get why cell phone manufacturers don't have a feature to record a proper horizontal video while holding the phone vertically. These phones have 10 Megapixel cameras in them now. It shouldn't be that difficult to grab the center 1920 by 1080 out of a much larger field for video.

      • by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples.gmail@com> on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @12:53AM (#51246393) Homepage Journal

        I don't get why cell phone manufacturers don't have a feature to record a proper horizontal video while holding the phone vertically.

        Because the Android CDD [googleusercontent.com] requires the camera to have the same orientation as the screen. Section 7.5.5 (Camera Orientation) states:

        Both front- and rear-facing cameras, if present, MUST be oriented so that the long dimension of the camera aligns with the screen’s long dimension. That is, when the device is held in the landscape orientation, cameras MUST capture images in the landscape orientation. This applies regardless of the device’s natural orientation; that is, it applies to landscape-primary devices as well as portrait-primary devices.

        So in the CDD's terms, what you're asking for is a way to crop 9:16 video down to 4:3 while recording it.

        • However such a crop makes far more sense with video than with stills.

          With stills recording the still at the native resoloution of the camera still is managable. So cropping to zoom or to change the aspect ratio means throwing away information that you could otherwise have kept. You can always crop after capture.

          With video on the other hand you are forced to throw away most of the data from the sensor since the storage and encoding pipeline can't cope with all of it. Adding functionality to chose what you th

      • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @03:45AM (#51246833) Journal
        I don't get why sites like Youtube still haven't managed to create a proper vertical video player.
      • It would also really narrow your field of vision - it is as if you're zooming in about 2 times.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Tuesday January 05, 2016 @11:34PM (#51246053) Journal
    Twitter is dying because of its open structure and limited message size. Facebook is eating their lunch. The basic difference? Message size. So, Twitter thinks they can out FB Facebook. I dunno. I don't bother with twitter because of the 140 char limit. Hmmmmm... This might lure me into bothering with it. But can I control who follows me? No. Nemmind.
    • You can block people from following you, and I think they have a private mode now so only your followers see your tweets.

      • Facebook also has such "privacy settings". Don't trust them. Only put stuff on Twitter/Facebook that you want the world to know, no matter how strict the "privacy settings". After all, everyone that reads it can retweet your messages and it's out in the open anyway. Twitter's privacy settings may have bugs that allow others to see your stuff after all. Foreign law enforcement (specifically the NSA of the US Government) may have a direct back door into Twitter, and be reading your messages regardless of your

        • Foreign law enforcement (specifically the NSA of the US Government) may have a direct back door into Twitter
          Not "may". They do and have for a long time now. We know that from PRISM and other programs divulged by Snowden.
    • did Netcraft confirm it?
  • Twitbook 2016
  • twitter is giving up essential part of what makes twitter successful.
    limitations of form concentrates the minds and enhances the power and effect of content.
    that is why (usually, not always, it is true) poetry is greater than prose and a play or movie with time limits will beat up a mutipart tv drama, etc etc.
     

    • limitations of form concentrates the minds and enhances the power and effect of content.

      And it will continue to, if Twitter sticks to the philosophy of its current experimental interface. 140 characters will still be shown in the feed, with a link to view the extended tweet. Don't feel like writing more than 140 characters? Then don't! I'm sure Twitter will include some kind of 'legacy' config option where it will artificially disallow you from writing more than 140 characters if you enable the setting.

    • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @01:12AM (#51246491) Journal

      twitter is giving up essential part of what makes twitter successful.

      No Twitter is giving up something you like about it. If Twitter we a community project like Wikipedia it would be successful, but it isn't. Twitter is business and one that is losing money, which is by definition not successful.

      Twitters core problem is people tweet links to places not twitter. twitter needs your eyeballs to stay on twitter if they are going to make any money with ads. So they can't have all their users just linking to external content. That is bad business. Look at what facebook does they work very hard to pull as much external content as possible into the feeds whenever people link something outside, why because it chances are if you can produce a story summary and image people will just look at it there. Just like on Slashdot nobody reads the TFA, nobody clicks that crap on facebook they read whats there and scroll on down.

      Twitter can't do that in 140 chars. So they need some place for the content to go, that is also twitter.

    • That 'essential part' is exactly the part I hate about Twitter, forcing everyone to condense everything into a badly-readable, tag-infested blurb. They took a miserable concept from news media (sound bites) and applied it to everyone, killing off thoughtful discussion in favor of polarization.

  • "Bob Snodgrass reporting from San Francisco.

    Twitter officials scheduled a news conference to explain the rationale behind the much higher limit. But unfortunately, people stopped paying attention after 45 seconds, so we don't really know why they increased the limit.... ooh, look! A kitten video! Bob Snodgrass signing out."

  • Consider that the limit of 140 characters is a blessing. It inspires us to be pithy, to craft our utterances to achieve maximum effect.

    Art thrives when it is constrained by limits of some kind. An example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • Can't wait for the pics!
  • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @12:37AM (#51246307) Journal

    email!

  • Twitter: the confetti of the internet, now with even more contentless crap!

  • When letters
    Seven score suffice,
    Trim the excess,
    Be concise
    Burma Shave

  • This would be much better - count syllables and enforce a 5-7-5 structure on all tweets.

  • I like Twitter for a reason, and that boils down to its short messages. To me its what every RSS aggregator tried to be.

    If its contents becomes anything like the spam i get in Facebook, i'll have to find an alternative that technically minded people like.

  • It's 2015. Er, I mean... 2016.
  • by RDW ( 41497 ) on Wednesday January 06, 2016 @06:40AM (#51247151)

    This must be the most momentous, earth-shattering event since Instagram allowed rectangular photos! My predictions for 2016:

    - Snapchat snaps to be viewable for 6 months after opening.
    - Vine clip limit extended to 90 minutes.
    - Dice completes gradual 'stealth beta' transformation of Slashdot.
    - Civilization altering asteroid strike leaves Usenet newsgroups as most important social media.

  • Overnight there is going to be zillions of articles copy-pasted illegally[*] and that's going to create a mess. I'm concerned that it will make the business of media and news even more worthless. It will also make it even easier for people to self-publish as getting a blog or domain main is a small barrier to entry, which is a good thing. Yet journalist college degrees etc. and credentials will even get more meaningless.

    I'm pissed that newspaper physically shrank and are rarely read anymore. Give me back ne

  • That's all it is. commercial entities needed more space to drop in more click bait.

    Catchy headline, then low quality information trying to sell something.

  • Anything worth saying, and things worthless, can be condensed into 140 characters.Tweets shouldn't bring you the evening news.
  • For me, 140 characters was way too short to say anything interesting. I wanted to be able to tweet about a paragraphs worth of text in order to be able to have any meaningful conversation. I think 10,000 characters is too long, that will break the short message format that differentiates the service.
    • by captjc ( 453680 )

      My thoughts as well. Personally, I would say go to about 300 characters while not having images or reply tags ("@user") counted against that limit.

      That would give plenty of space to write out a full thought while still keeping it brief.

  • Call me when I can embed a VM* in a tweet.

    * virtual machine, not voicemail.

  • So how is it different than email - ultimately? Twitter is irrelevant!

Truth is free, but information costs.

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