Life Tech Twitter refuses to deny character limit changes

Twitter refuses to deny character limit changes

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has indicated the current 140-character restriction may be up for debate, but refrained from confirming the company was considering it.

Mr Dorsey was responding to renewed reports the micro-blogging site was looking to increase the limit on public status updates, or tweets, from 140 to 10,000 characters.

“At its core, Twitter is public messaging,” he said, “a simple way to say something, to anyone, that everyone in the world can see instantly.”

Tech news website Re/code reported on Wednesday morning (AEST) the company was building the feature with an aim of launching it towards the end of quarter one, citing sources familiar with the plan.

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It was expected 140 characters would remain visible, with the rest of the text made available once the post was clicked on.

The increase would align with the newly-introduced limit on private messages.

Although not explicitly denying the reports, Dorsey said the current limit “inspires creativity and brevity … and a sense of speed”.

“We will never lose that feeling,” he said.

“We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it.

“Instead, what if that text … was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power.

“We’re not going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter for people. As long as it is consistent with what people want to do, we’re going to explore it.”

Twitter shares dropped by 2 per cent on Tuesday as rumours of the rise surfaced.

It was not a good signal for the tech company, which has recently been struggling to promote growth against competitors like Facebook.

Twitter has been experimenting under Dorsey – the company’s co-founder who returned as chief executive in October – to make the website more engaging.

In the few months under Dorsey, Twitter introduced the ‘moments’ feature, added polls to tweets, rolled out a “buy” button and replaced its star-shaped “favourite” icon with a heart-shaped icon called “like”.

However, some users took to Twitter to express their dissent to the new feature with the hashtag #beyond140.

“Just say no to #beyond140!,” Andrew Wright tweeted.

Rumours of the increase first surfaced in September. Twitter declined to comment.

– with AAP

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