Twitter is home to many forms of entertainment – memes, news, celebrity interactions, viral videos – the list goes on and on. However, one thing that has stood true since Twitter’s founding in 2006 is that all things shared must stay within the strict 140 character limit. Eleven years later, Twitter has rocked this fixed notion, introducing the concept of a 280 character limit. Currently being trialed, randomly selected users found they could now tweet longer phrases, and in typical internet etiquette, most took it upon themselves to make it the next meme:
Jokes aside, an increased character limit has been met with controversy, a recent poll stating that a majority of 46% of voters don’t like it while 21% do. That leftover 33% are the individuals who don’t really care one way or another. While concern over the 280 character limit is the epitome of a “first world problem”, below are a few reasons why Twitter might want to rethink their latest gratuity:
- More Characters = More Rants: If you’re the type of person who scours Facebook in order to be entertained by the absurd complaints of strangers on the interwebs – power to you! But that’s why Twitter isn’t Facebook — so that our feeds aren’t taken up with things that, frankly, no one really cares about. And sure, 280 characters certainly doesn’t seem like ranting material, but when tweet after tweet is right at that limit, you’ll find yourself ready to join with a rant of your own.
- It Ruins the Twitter “Aesthetic”: Maybe one of the most lovely things about Twitter is that it doesn’t really have an “aesthetic” at all. On Instagram, you can find accounts perfected down to every last picture to match the layout, but Twitter is a different game. It’s meant to be an informal means of communication, and some of the funniest tweets are so grammatically incorrect that it becomes a joke the whole site is in on. Depending on what you’re on Twitter for, it most likely isn’t to get your daily dose of sunset pictures and visual gratification.
- There Are Some People Who Really Just Do Not Need Extra Room To Speak: This one is as self-explanatory as it gets. 280 characters open a lot of doors for good, but it also opens a lot of doors for bad. I’m sure we can all think of a few choice Twitter icons who would abuse the increased limit. Let’s use our brains and not open Pandora’s box, please and thank you.
That all said, there are pros to increasing the character limit, which current CEO Jack Dorsey touched on when the news was announced:
Maybe you agree with him and are looking forward to the prospect of not having to carefully choose which vowels to leave out in order to not exceed that fateful 140 limit, or maybe 280 just is too long of a read, like it was for this guy:
Regardless of your stance on the subject, if the character limit doubles, it’s going to bring major changes to Twitter’s platform and performance. It might be the boost Twitter needs to keep up with competitors like Snapchat and Instagram, or it can be a step towards its decline and eventual demise like Vine (RIP). Just know that if Twitter does double the character limit, there will be more than enough users ready to lament “the good old days” and remember simpler times. As said in my personal favorite tweet regarding this subject, “…is this Wednesday night book club?”