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. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Twitter – longer & longer & lon….!

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Twitter – longer & longer & lon….! | E-verything! --

  2. Hi Jo,
    I’m just wondering whatever happened to “If you can’t say it in 140 don’t say it at all”?

    Tweets are supposed to be short, concise and succint and most of us feel at ease with 140 characters. Besides, we’ve developed a new Twitter lingo – was it all in vain now that our tweets can be as long as we want?

    I don’t like this new Twitter feature at all and I don’t intend to use it.

    All the best

    • Hi Arjana

      Me too! Using Twitter has improved my ability to encapsulate info into fewer words.

      I won’t be using the longer option either but I see that many people already are. If you use Tweetdeck it is all too easy to use it by accident.

      I think there are occasions when we would all like it to be longer but we have managed fine by just doing an extra tweet now and then. I usually find this is during a convo where more complex ideas are being exchanged.

      We can only hope that educators, at least, avoid the extra length trap to a large extent.



  3. Hi jo

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    I understand your perspective and agree nearly 100%. However, I do like twitlonger for certain cases and am glad it’s around. I really only use it for times when i have more 2 say in conversations n writing multiple tweets starts to rub on an organization nerve of mine. Haha! Like u, i find that condensing value in an almost poetic way is an art, so i hope others will feel this way to in the long run. 🙂

    I would just add that the amazing thing about twitter (as i’ve understood it in my short time here) is that it’s so community-driven. If the community doesn’t appreciate the 140character art like we do, then it’s gonna take the community elsewhere.

    Thanks again for your driving the education community in the ‘right’ direction. Haha. Cheers

    • Hi Brad

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      I very much see your point about the specific cases although in a convo I happily use more than one tweet to express an idea! At least this gives others a chance to put in their 2 “penn’orth” between LOL! (I know I talk too much 🙂 ). I have also found that pple respond to first part while I am writing second so conv goes faster & sometimes ppl initiate a change of mind in me between part 1 & 2.

      Agree Twitter is community driven but Twitter is much more than just an educator community, so those in other disciplines especially marketing and sp*m may welcome the extra length.

      Thank you agin for joining this conversation so positively.


  4. Hi Jo, I’m with you about keeping Tweets at 140 characters….short and sweet.
    But, I do love links to images and videos opening in my twitter page. Maybe some people feel if multimedia is let in…then why not more text?

    As far as I can tell, I don’t think Twitter has made the change that allows users to make longer tweets.
    I think that it’s only Tweetdeck that permits long tweets made in applications like Twitlonger and

    I haven’t seen them because I’m in Twitter most of the time. Can you turn off in Tweetdeck Jo?

    Thank’s for raising our awareness of these changes that just seem to “appear” without consultation 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Penny – love it when people join the convo!

      I too love to be able to click on pics or vids BUT for me the big diff is that, at least in Tweetdeck, I get all of the longer Tweet with no choice. I have choice with respect to do I open a pic or vid link.

      Interesting too I just had another look at Twitter web &, like you, I can’t see an option for longer tweets, yet I have been getting longer ones for some time now. They have had a link to click on for the rest of the extended Tweet & this has shown up in what looked like Twitter web. Perhaps it has been some of the other Twitter clients. I am now intrigued and will be trying to investigate further.

      Thanks again Penny 🙂


  5. Thnx for the reply, Jo.

    Good points, tho I dont think the 140 will likely change. N with twitlonger, we can simply avoid clickin on it, right? Spam or not.

    I hear you on the marketer/spam tho… it’s an epidemic!!! I RTed a funny tweet about someone ‘not having a summer job, and Egypt need a new president and how it was PERFECT’.

    Within 3 mins of the RT this humorous tweets, I got ‘@brad5patterson I’ve learned how to work from home…’ blah blah with a link

    I replied hoping I’d get a laugh from some programmer in a dark room somewhere

    @EvePlowden Wow… intelligent spam… guess you didnt get the joke, my dear watson (jeopardy and sherlock holmes pun X 2)

    FUNNY THING IS, they’ve deleted any trace of our conversation, and now when i tried to share it with you, I only get:

    ”Twitter indicates that you’re not allowed to make this request”

    It is a changing world, so I feel your concern. Let’s keep our part of the community fun and fruitful and hopefully others’ll follow suit.

    Have a nice weekend, b

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