Is Twitter Abandoning Their 140-characters limit?

While I was working on a script, I recalled a scene from The Matrix in which ‘The Oracle’ was talking about good and defective pieces of software. So, I found the quote online and decided to post it on Twitter, but as usual, the 140 character limit was going to be an issue! Not this time!

I hit post, waiting to get the 140 character error message, but the tweet was posted anyway!

Tweet longer than 140 characters!

Tweet longer than 140 characters!

On my twitter profile page the message showed truncated to 140 characters, but with the periods of ellipsis (…) linking to the full tweet. I tested how it’s displayed on TweetDeck, but it was truncated to 140 characters without a link to read the full tweet – I guess this is a #TODO for TweetDeck’s team!

I tried again, with a really long tweet this time, but it was truncated at 246 characters! No warning on the posting box, though.

The question now: Is this a new feature of Twitter, or is it a bug?

I doubt it’s the latter, as even the Javascript that usually tells me how many characters are left didn’t warn me. So, it has got to be intentional. If it’s a new feature, then many websites that offer is to allow longer tweets are about to be decommissioned, such as: twerbose, twitblogs, XLTweet, twitlonger and others.

But, if Twitter is really considering longer Tweets, doesn’t that negate the entire purpose of the 140 characters limit that the entire Twitter reputation is build on top of? From the Twitter Blog: “The Twitter message limit of 140 characters was based on the limit of 160 characters imposed by SMS in general—we just needed some room to include your name in front of the message. It’s this simple constraint that allows Twitter to work well in so many places.”

What do you think? Let us know by leaving a comment.

UPDATE (24 May 2009): It turned out to be a bug, and some people heard about it beforehand. The question now becomes, why does Twitter keep this bug and seems to have taken it into consideration by enabling the system to automatically add the ellipses and link to the full tweet?

Like us on Facebook

We love Tweepi

Tweepi Logo

Follow the best and unfollow the bots, with the only Twitter management tool with stats!

Big Advert

Share a post

Got an amazing campaign, web app or a social media related topic that you'd like to share with our readers?

Explore Thoughtpick

Our Archived Posts

Try Our #FF Helper App

FollowFriday Helper makes playing Twitter's #ff a piece of cake!

A brand new way to recommend tweeps based on how you tweet...

We're on Twitter

Oops, something went wrong and we could not display the latest tweets! :(

Thoughtpick by email

For more Learn Social Media by Example reviews, don't forget to subscribe to our posts by email:

©2010 thoughtpick, copyrights reserved.