TWITTER TESTING 280 CHARACTER LIMIT. GOOD IDEA, OR TRAGEDY?

On Tuesday Twitter announced that it would be running a trial test of it’s new character limit that will double in length from 140 to 280 characters. Twitter allowed some users that it included in it’s test group to use the new feature before they decide if they will adopt the new program permanently. Like myself, you’ve probably seen some users who have been included in the test group send out Tweets with 280 characters. I have to admit, after seeing it in action, I don’t love the idea. I don’t hate it either, but I definitely don’t love it. When I see one of the 280 character Tweets roll down my timeline it always stands out. The first thought that pops into my mind is “I ain’t reading all that.” I know that 280 characters don’t make for a whole lot more words in a Tweet, but try explaining that to my brain! 280 characters start to look like a paragraph, which I’m guessing, is exactly what Twitter didn’t want when they rolled out the Twitter app with it’s 140 characters. The ability to write long useless thoughts is what chased most of Twitter’s current population from sites like Facebook to Twitter. The great challenge of using Twitter was always “how to cram a complete thought into 140 characters.” This 280 character thing is clearly going in the opposite direction and vision that it’s creators initially had for the social media site. In a world where the average attention span has dropped drastically, Twitter was the perfect tool to keep the unfocused and easily bored (myself included) engaged. With this move, I fear that Twitter will fall into the trap of being “just another social media site.” I believe that changing the main thing that made Twitter special in the first place is a big mistake. After this, what’s left to separate Twitter from every other social network out there?

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