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Big Changes Coming to Twitter?

Since social media went from a niche market to a multi-billion dollar industry, the way that social sites operate has expanded and adapted to the demands of the marketplace. Except for one constant-the 140 character limit on Twitter posts. The 140 character limit is a defining characteristic that differentiates Twitter for social media novices and experts alike. It is a unique feature that helped drive Twitter’s rise in popularity. And it is most likely about to be a thing of the past.

Recently, rumors have placed a new Twitter character limit at 10,000 per post. This rumor comes in conjunction with the lowest stock prices in the history of the company. Twitter has rolled out several new features since Jack Dorsey returned for a second stint as CEO. However, none of these has stemmed the plummeting stock price, or attracted enough new users.

The 140 character limit was born to allow tweets to fit within the parameters of an SMS message or text, which in 2006 was 160 characters. While those limits have long been rendered obsolete by new technology, Twitter’s limit has remained. Lifting that limit has been referred to in some reports as an initiative called “Beyond 140”. If it does in fact come to pass, it should be in effect by March. Dorsey seemed to confirm that this was the direction the company is headed with a lengthy tweet. In order to have his tweet fit within the current character limit he was forced to send out a screenshot of his typed message, something that many users do to circumvent the restrictions of the platform. By doing so, he seemed to be underlining the need for more characters in tweets.

Many Twitter purists are dreading such a fundamental change to the platform. Whether changing the character count will attract enough new users to offset the loyalists who will be upset remains to be seen. Even if the character limit remains the same, Twitter will surely be seeing other big changes as they try to keep their cultural cache intact.

Now, when crafting your marketing message for Twitter, you may have the opportunity to offer more content to consumers.