Once again, the internet is quivering with angst over Twitter ditching its 140-character limit. A Re/code report today claims that the microblogging service will soon become much less micro by expanding that limit to 10,000 characters. Everybody calm the fuck down.
Twitter is not ditching its 140-character limit. Not yet, at least. Some anonymous sources in Silicon Valley think that the publicly traded company might make some changes at the end of the first quarter. Those changes might include a rumored new feature that said anonymous source call “Beyond 140.” The feature might give users the ability to do longer tweets, perhaps as long as the current 10,000-character limit allowed in direct messages. And this MIGHT give users a native method for copying large amounts of text that would be an alternative to taking a screenshot of said text, which has become a common practice amongst Twitter users.
Despite what you read on other tech sites, none of this has actually happened. Unfortunately, that fact hasn’t discouraged Twitter nuts from making bad Game of Thrones jokes or generally freaking out about the sinister dystopia that would be a world of longer tweets:
But you can’t tweet over 140 characters yet! So seriously, keep calm and be brief.
Honestly, this kind of freakout happens all the time. Remember back in 2010 when crappy social media startups like Twitlonger were peddling the possibility of novel-length tweets? It didn’t really catch on. Plenty of people thought it would ruin Twitter back then, but the long tweet idea never really caught on. Now that Twitter is bleeding users and grasping for some sort of first aid to reverse process, it would seem rather stupid to alienate the committed users who’ve long feared a world of full of long tweets. It’s kind of like that time Twitter thought it would be a good idea to ban Politwoops, and we all know how that turned out. Or the time Twitter turned stars into hearts. Thank God, we all survived that dark time.
Only Jack Dorsey and his cronies really know what’s going to happen to Twitter. The company’s experimenting with new features like the Moments tab or the so-called Project Lightning that it grew out of. So even if there is some strange new 10,000-word option, there’s a good chance it will be hidden behind a link so as not to adulterate Twitter as we know it.
Either way, it’s just Twitter. The backlash is just hysteria. Everything is going to be okay.
Update 5:13pm: Jack Dorsey weighs in with a mysteriously cheeky non-confirmation of the report: