Twitter – longer & longer & lon….!

Some musings on recent Twitter changes!

These are my personal views about how Twitter works for me and some of the changes that don’t sit easily with me. I would love some discussion to develop around this!

I see some changes in Twitter lately that don’t “gel” with me. I’m not that happy with the “newTwitter” web but as I usually use the Tweetdeck client and Snaptu if on my phone this has not really impinged much on me. However I am aware that it is possible to do updates longer than 140 characters. Until recently then these have been shown through my Tweetdeck screen they have either said “read more” so I could ignore them, or have link which when clicked shows a few more words (intensly annoying). However the most recent update shows the whole tweet and (irritatingly) if it is only a couple of characters over 140 leaves a large “real estate” blank in the column!

I have always felt very strongly that “Twitter is what you want it to be for YOU!” However this as been very much my personal feeling on the etiquette etcetera of Twitter use. I have no issue with two or more successive tweets to communicate a thought or idea within a conversation I do this myself regularly, although I realise that some people find it annoying. However I am finding it a bit hard to deal with tweets that are just “long” perhaps because the author has not troubled to think before sending or because what they are saying deserves a blog post!

My concern with the capacity to send longer tweets is threefold:

a) The impact this may have on the essential character of twitter and very much on the many, many well crafted tweets that I see every day. These being the result of tweeps considering and planning their tweets to say what they want to say in an elegant 140 characters.

b) The extra reading time, download and screen space involved – I read very fast and scan and skim for content and context but I know (as a literacy specialist) that not everyone is able to take in meaning rapidly and holistically. This creates the risk that Twitter may become “boring” to some users.

c) Longer tweets provide more opportunities for spammers and marketers to monopolise our streams at the expense of those who tweet meaningful content.

I just have this feeling/concern that Twitter is moving from microblogging to macroblogging and that every tweet now risks becoming an extended post. If this happens then Twitter may lose its excitement and immediacy – imho that would be a shame. 🙂