Since its inception, Twitter has been about content that's short and sweet. Originally capped at 140 characters, the maximum length of tweets was doubled to 280 in 2018. While this gives a little more breathing room to express opinions, the limit still forces users to be concise – or resort to tweet threads.
But a new option could be on the horizon. Evidence has been unearthed that Twitter is working on a new feature called Twitter Articles. If the feature ends up seeing the light of day, it would serve as an alternative to a tweetstorm, posting links to lengthier articles hosted elsewhere, or posting images of passages of text.
News of the feature came courtesy of serial tipster Jane Manchun Wong, who shared her finding on Twitter:
Twitter is working on “Twitter Articles” and the ability to create one within TwitterPossibility a new longform format on Twitter pic.twitter.com/Srk3E6R5szFebruary 2, 2022
The screenshot does not give away a great deal, but it does show that Twitter Articles could be given their own dedicated section within the app.
As there has been no official word about Articles from Twitter – coupled with the fact that the feature was only found by a well-known reverse engineer ferreting around in-app code – it is impossible to say when (or, indeed, if) the ability to post long-form articles will land on Twitter
When contacted by Social Media Today about the discovery, Twitter commented that it is “..always looking into new ways to help people start and engage in conversations”. The company did say that it would offer up more information soon.
Analysis: moving away from its origins
Keeping things short and sweet has long been Twitter's raison d'etre. For years, the character limit has prevented users from waxing too lyrically too regularly, helping to keep content flowing in easily digestible chunks.
But there have long been very vocal bands of users who have been demanding change. Some would like to see the addition of an Edit button to make it possible to amend tweets to correct spelling mistakes, but this is something that – rightly or wrongly – has been dismissed by Twitter. There have been concerns that the ability to edit tweeted material after the fact could lead to confusion and the spread of misinformation.
There have also been plenty of calls for further increases to the tweet character length, and this is something that Twitter has resisted for some time. But with the probable arrival of Twitter Articles, it seems that the company is bowing to pressure – albeit in a slightly different way to what many people would have hoped or expected.
While longer tweets will be welcomed by many, Twitter Articles would indicate quite a change of direction for Twitter and take it further away from its roots. But having branched out with options which as Twitter Blue subscriptions and the Super Follow feature, it is possible that Twitter Articles could be a feature that is only made available to a subset of users – and it could see Twitter transforming into a different type of publishing platform that competes with a slightly different sector.
Via: Social Media Today
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