Twitter’s new feature to allow users 10,000-character tweets

Twitter Inc is building a new feature that will allow users to post tweets as long as 10,000 characters, well beyond its current 140-character limit, technology news website Re/code reported on Tuesday.

An expansion of the limit to 10,000 characters would allow a tweet of more than 1,000 words with spaces between words and punctuation. For comparison, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address was 272 words, and President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech was 1,366 words.

Twitter may launch the service towards the end of the first quarter but has not set an official date, Re/code said, citing sources familiar with the plans. They said the character limit could change before the final version of the product is unveiled.

Jack Dorsey, the company’s co-founder, who returned as chief executive in October, in a series of tweets did not say whether Twitter would expand the limit. But he did call it “a beautiful constraint.”

He added that the company has seen more people sharing screenshots of text, which are a way to get around the 140-character limit.

“We’re not going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter for people,” Dorsey wrote in a screenshot of text that was longer than 140 characters.

“As long as it’s consistent with what people want to do, we’re going to explore it.”

The micro-blogging website, in an attempt to keep the current look for the Twitter timeline, is testing a version of the product that displays 140-character tweets but expands to reveal more content when users click on the tweet, Re/code said.

Twitter has been experimenting under Dorsey to make the service more engaging.

In the few months since Dorsey returned, 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.”

Twitter has come under increasing pressure to boost user growth and ad revenue. It had its slowest user growth in 2015 – it now boasts just over 300 million users – and was eclipsed by photo-sharing app Instagram, owned by Facebook Inc, which surpassed 400 million users last year.

On Tuesday, however, some users took to Twitter to express their opposition to the possible longer tweet with the hashtag #beyond140.

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

Re/code reported in September that the new feature was in the works.

Twitter declined to comment.

This report clocks in at 407 words and 2,569 characters.

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Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.