Another element of Elon Musk’s “Twitter 2.0” reform plan is to give users more options to share longer posts within the app, either in video or text form.
Musk has repeatedly expressed his desire to build YouTube-like functionality into the app, allowing users to post longer videos to discourage viewers from clicking another app to consume video content (and another monetization opportunity for creators too Offer). Longer text is another focus, with Musk also telling users that longer tweets — potentially up to 4,000 characters — are coming soon.
How would that work?
Short text was a fundamental element of Twitter, so you can’t just switch to walls of text dominating the tweet feed, right?
As you can see in this example, longer tweets would likely appear in the stream at the regular tweet length, with a “view more” indicator at the end of the first 280 characters. Users could then expand the tweet to read more, potentially displaying the full 4,000 characters in a longer tweet panel.
This could give Twitter more room to share longer thoughts without disrupting the tweet stream too much. But then again, it also seems like the only way to shrink that huge tweet panel back down is to scroll down to the bottom of the expanded tweet – and if the character limit is actually increased to 4k, that could be very annoying just scroll to find out what’s behind the “Show More” tag.
Twitter could solve this by providing more information on how long the full tweet has left. It’s experimenting with a similar notification for tweet creators and finds that only the first 280 characters are shown for their longer tweets.
It could similarly update the notification at the “Show more” prompt with something like “Read the remaining 3,000 characters” as the indicator instead, which could save users typing and remove a lengthy article within a tweet.
That might decrease engagement with longer tweets, though — but then again, not specifying the full length might actually have the same effect, as users might get tired of stretching out massive tweets and just stop typing the prompt away.
It’s also not clear that this is something users on Twitter want, given the historical focus on short messages, and it will be interesting to see how it is received when/when it eventually rolls out.
Twitter has been trying to find a better way to share longer-form content for a while. Before Musk took over, Twitter was experimenting with Notes allowed users to create posts of up to 2,500 words, which could then be natively embedded into the Twitter app for easy sharing.
It appears that this project has now been shelved, possibly in favor of longer tweets, with the idea that this will reduce the need to send screenshots of text while also helping Twitter increase engagement, retention time and greater diversity hosting content formats.
There’s no word yet on a live test of longer tweets, or whether it will be made available to all users or just Twitter Blue subscribers (longer video appears to be a Twitter Blue exclusive).
We will keep you informed of any progress.