Ever since Twitter‘s 2006 founding, brevity has been key to its appeal, but those days may come to an end. The social media platform has announced that it will soon double the length of tweets to 280 characters (or less!), and this feature will be rolled out for a select group of users. As far as who those lucky users shall be, Twitter is keeping that detail shrouded in secrecy — perhaps Ted Cruz and his “staffer” might soon be favoriting porn tweets that are twice as long? — but they’re revealing the madness behind this decision.
The New York Times reports that this experiment is actually geared toward motivating people to tweet more frequently, and “internal research” has led Twitter to conclude that users feel constrained by the customary character limit. Yet times are changing, so get ready to feel the pressure to be twice as clever for your followers. Here’s what Twitter said on their official blog:
Trying to cram your thoughts into a Tweet — we’ve all been there, and it’s a pain … We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean).
The company also addresses how this might be an “emotional” change for some users, and they’re prepared to listen to concerns. Certainly, it could also make it more difficult to quickly scroll through tweets on smartphones, but Twitter plans to take this test phase slowly and dial it back if necessary. Still, Product Manager Aliza Rosen expresses confidence in the test feature and says that staffers “fell in love” with how it works.
Change can be good. Wait, does this mean Trump can soon tweet the U.S. into twice as many wars? Oh boy.