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Twitter boss Jack Dorsey hints at longer tweets - but says site will not lose its character

Published 06/01/2016

Jack Dorsey said the majority of tweets would always be short and sweet, but they would also explore changes if people wanted them
Jack Dorsey said the majority of tweets would always be short and sweet, but they would also explore changes if people wanted them

Twitter users who struggle to stay inside the limits of their 140-character tweets could see that extended by thousands after the site's co-founder hinted at change.

Following reports the social networking site will employ a new feature allowing users to tweet up to 10,000 characters at a time, chief executive Jack Dorsey posted a message saying the company will not be "shy" about giving its users more power.

The current 140-character restriction was introduced in Twitter's early days, in a similar way to short text messages, and while Mr Dorsey praised it as a " beautiful constraint" he noted that users already find ways to cram more into a tweet by posting images with more words.

Mr Dorsey sent a tweet after a report on t echnology website Re/Code suggested Twitter is currently considering upping the limit to 10,000, although he did not refer directly to the report in his message.

He used a picture of text, containing 1,325 characters, to tell followers what may be in store.

He said the current limit "inspires creativity and brevity", and that the majority of tweets "will always be short and sweet and conversational", but added they are keen to work to "strengthen" the site's purpose.

He wrote: "We're not going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter for people. As long as it's consistent with what people want to do, we're going to explore it."

Such a move could be a good way to attract new users to the site, something it has struggled to do compared to other sites such as Facebook and Instagram, said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.

He said: "Twitter is an afterthought in social media right now. They need to do something to drive more usage of the service. If people start using the service more frequently, other users will come join in, too."

Re/Code reported that one option Twitter is considering is keeping the look of the site with only 140-characters visible in tweets, therefore maintaining the feel of the current timeline layout, but having an option to click for further content.

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