Have you noticed that you can now essentially create entire blog posts on Twitter? No? So, you haven’t noticed any super-long Tweets that are hidden behind the ‘Show More’ indicator, appearing within your Tweet Feed? Do you even want to see longer Tweets? All these questions and not nearly enough answers—ah yes, the new Twitter way. If you answered ‘Yes’, then you’re in luck, because Elon Musk says that longer Tweets can now hold up to 10k characters. 10. Thousand. Characters. Let that sink in for a moment.
As a quick recap, the current long-form Tweets, now available to Twitter Blue subscribers, can be up to 4k characters long, and were released early last month. It still seems ironic that Twitter itself couldn’t find a good reason to post a longer Tweet to highlight the function, but still, 4K Tweets are now available to each of Blue’s 300,000 paying subscribers. Soon enough, it’ll be expanding this even more.
In many ways, it seems a bit out of place, maybe not what Twitter is about – but Musk and Co. are keen to get more long-form content in the app to keep users engaged, while also providing a new avenue for creator monetization in the app. Once people are spending more time watching a video or reading a longer Tweet, Twitter can insert ads, then share revenue from such with creators. It’s still quite a ways off from becoming a thing, but that’s the long-term vision for long-form content in the app. Longer Tweets are another part of an expanded Twitter ecosystem that will no longer require creators to redirect their audiences to other platforms to view their content.
The real question is whether or not creators and users actually want that. Twitter has built a reputation as a short-form leader, acting as the go-to place to get up-to-the-minute updates on the latest happenings and events in quick, bite-sized summaries. Twitter required a certain skillset from creators if they wanted to build a following due to its brevity, and it does seem like expanding the length of Tweets could go against that.
Still, there was a heap of backlash when Twitter went from 140 to 280 characters back in 2017, yet usage data has since shown that people like having more characters to work with. So, while it may seem like a counter-intuitive move, sometimes, those changes work anyway. Maybe people can find more value in longer Tweets, discovering all new use cases and options as a result.
One good thing about this is that you don’t have to post longer Tweets if you don’t want to. The option is there if you choose, making it fairly safe, albeit of a lo-fi bet for Twitter. Regardless of the impacts, it’s happening, so just prepare yourself in case you suddenly get surrounded by impossibly long Tweets that, most of the time, might make less sense than they look.