Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has seemingly confirmed rumours that the social network could introduce a 10,000 character limit on tweets. Rumours that Twitter would explore ways to allow users to post article-length text messages on the service, embedded within a normal 140-character tweet, caught the attention of tech sites on Tuesday. It also seemingly caught the attention of investors on the stock market, who responded poorly, with the social network closing down 2.97 percent on the day to a new low of $21.89 per share.
In a post on Twitter, Dorsey explained that while the current 140 character limit was a “beautiful constraint”, it was also limiting what people could say.
“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,” he wrote, using a screenshot of text to illustrate his point.
Dorsey’s post seemingly confirmed that at the very least, Twitter would continue to experiment with its service to try to drive new sign-ups, which have stalled at around 300 million even as its rival Facebook expands beyond a billion daily active users. It would also allow Twitter and publishers to host lengthier content directly on the platform, mirroring similar moves by Facebook and Apple.
“Instead, what if that text…was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power,” Dorsey wrote.
What that means for Twitter remains to be seen: Dorsey stated that the “majority of tweets” would remain “short, sweet and conversational”, but hinted that a major change was coming.
“If we decide to ship what we explore, we’re telling developers well in advance, so they can prepare accordingly,” he wrote.