I read on Financial Times this morning that TweetDeck, my Twitter app of choice, has unveiled what it calls Deck.ly. The service, similar to TwitLonger, will allow users to send out messages that are longer than the 140-character limit imposed by Twitter. It prompts the very serious question, is it time for Twitter to raise the limit?
I know I’m not the only one chopping up and abbreviating words, dropping punctuation, using URL shorteners and more to try and fit into the 140-character limit. In fact, one thing that bugs me are people that are breaking the character limit using outside-the-box services, which force you to click a link to read the complete message.
I still think Twitter needs a limit and it could be relatively low, I think 250 characters would be a good limit, because that fits in two text messages. I’m already getting two texts from Twitter if I get direct messages from people with really long names or subscribe to certain tweets. I don’t think anyone wants to navigate through streams of novellas that people post if the limit was abolished.
Iain Dodsworth, founder and chief executive of TweetDeck, told FT.com, “From day one [of Tweetdeck], it was one of the things almost everyone was screaming about… Going around that core tenet of Twitter could be a sensitive move. We don’t know how they feel about it.” (Emphasis mine.)
We really don’t know how Twitter feels about it, because they’ve never spoken out on the issue. TwitLonger has been around for a while (its website doesn’t have the creation date), and now breaking through the 140-character limit will be built into one of the most popular Twitter apps.
I think it’s time for Twitter to boost the character limit, even if it’s only a moderate increase.