Wednesday, January 06, 2016

BPN 1718: Twitter moving from micro to medium blog

The technology site Recode once again spreads the news that the Twitter management is considering expanding the length of the messages from 140 digits to 10.000 digits. Supposedly this should help its profitability. But will expanding tweets beyond average length help?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey launched twitter. It looked almost as if it happened by accident. The word tweet was not invented yet nor retweet. But it was a clean editorial formula: a message scrambled in 140 characters. Later on a space for media assets was added, limiting the message even more in characters.

The limit of 140 characters looks like it was chosen arbitrarily. However, the reasoning behind was, that the message should fit into the SMS format. The message asked for literary excellence and/or literary economy with abbreviations, leaving out punctuation and diacritical signs (much to the chagrin of the French). The limit of 140 characters has looked comfortable as hardly no real proposal has been put forward for a smaller amount of characters. Yes in India several text services have been proposed, ranging from 60 characters to 120 characters.

Twitter was introduced in the social media field when other media were there already such as Blogger (1999), LinkedIN (2003)and Facebook (2004). And in this company Twitter had the unique selling point of a micro-blog. It was however less interactive as Blogger and LinkedIN.

Now Twitter wants to expand its length to 10.000 characters or roughly to 4,5 pages text. So what is new in comparison to Blogger and other blogs? They do not have a limit of 10.000 characters, but vary from short messages above 140 characters to postings longer than 10.000 characters.  And most blog postings are not longer than one page, roughly 2500 characters.

Besides, how can extended TWRRT improve on lay-outs of the present blog software and especially Wordpress. Twitter will also like to incorporate text, photographs, drawings and small movies in the lay-out of 10.000 characters.

What USP in text and lay-out will Twitter bring? So far it can only result in a playing field for text, photographs, drawings and small movies, as long as the limit of 10.000 characters will not be succeeded.

The argument that people have been asking for extension of the character limit is a crazy argument. What will be the request after that Twitter has gone from 140 to 10.000 characters. The demand will be exponentially, going from 10.000 to 100.000 characters. And no one will view such tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeets.

Twitter can bring a differentiated service by adding two levels:
a.                   Present tweet of max. 140 characters, to be filled with text and a thumb illustration;
b.                  Lead of max. 500 characters being the introduction of the article, message; if you cant make your point in 500 characters, you will not do so in 10.000 characters.
c.                   Article of max. 10.000 characters, to be filled with text, photographs, drawings and small movies.

This format also contains a business proposal, whereby the article will have to be paid for the author or the reader at a viewing fee set by the author.

Oepss, 510 words!

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