Twitter closer to allowing longer tweets of up to 10,000 characters

image source, Thinkstock

Twitter is considering ditching its 140-character limit in tweets.

After 24 hours of speculation it seems the the social media company is considering a new 10,000 character limit - the same as for Direct Messages.

It's the latest effort by the firm to appeal to a wider audience.

Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey has said he isn't definitely set on sticking with 140 characters.

If Twitter allowed tweets of up to 10,000 characters, it could produce 1,700-word messages, based on the size of Dorsey's extended post.

In his message, Jack Dorsey wrote that Twitter had already noticed that many of its 300 million users already have been including screenshots of longer texts in their tweets.

image source, Reuters

He suggested that Twitter was looking at ways to give people more room to express themselves without polluting the service.

Mr Dorsey said that imposing some limits "inspires creativity and brevity and a sense of speed". He said it would "never lose that feeling".

At the same time, he said Twitter wasn't "going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter for people".

He said as long as it was consistent with what people wanted to do, they would explore it.

Officially Twitter, which is based in San Francisco, has refused to comment on its plans.

image source, PA

Matti Littunen from media research company Enders Analysis told the BBC that Twitter is making the move because of "changing user behaviour".

He says the popularity of screenshots of long text messages on the site is proof that people are not using the service as they once did.

"The move is a further sign of the company looking to adapt its core product and extend appeal beyond its following of 320m monthly active users," he added.

By increasing the amount of characters available Littunen thinks the company is targeting more income from advertisers, who could use the extra space to try and sell products.

Twitter hasn't made a profit since launching in 2006.

In comparison Facebook has 1.5 billion users and made £579m between July and September last year.

But Matti also thinks there's a risk the changes could alienate some current Twitter users who enjoy the punchy direct style of the content on there.

Jack Dorsey, who returned to the company last July, helped create Twitter in 2006.

He imposed a 140-character limit on messages so the service would be easy to use on mobile phones that could only deal with 160 character texts at that time.

Those limits disappeared after smartphones took off and allowed people to use other internet messaging services, making Twitter's restrictions look increasingly out of date.

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