Twitter is getting ready to go beyond the 140-character limit for tweets, in a big way: The company has been working on a feature to post tweets with up to 10,000 characters, according to a Recode report. Twitter is looking to launch the feature before the end of this quarter, according to the report.
The feature may itself change before the final roll-out, according to the report, which could include changes to the content length itself. Twitter rolled out the ability to send direct messages with up to 10,000 characters last year. Reports about Twitter planning to roll out longer tweets first surfaced last summer.
Public tweets are currently limited to 140 characters because of Twitter’s heritage: Launched as a mobile service that made heavily use of phone text messaging, Twitter had to stay below the SMS limit of 160 characters. 140 characters allowed the company to include the complete text of a tweet, as well as the author’s user name, within one SMS.
However, Twitter has since enhanced tweets to add a lot of additional content, from images and videos to e-commerce to polls. Not all of these features have gone over well with Twitter’s often very vocal user base, which is why it will be crucial for the company to implement the new tweet length in a way that doesn’t break the existing experience.
The good news is that even with a new tweet limit, the Twitter timeline may still look the same: The new feature will apparently hide extended text entries behind a kind of “read more” link to still keep tweets short in the timeline, while at the same time allowing users to publish longer entries.