Thursday, April 18, 2024

Elon Musk indicates tweets could be about to get a whole lot longer

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Doom scrolling on Twitter could be about to take a lot longer.

Elon Musk, over the weekend, seemed to indicate that the social media company is preparing to increase its character limit from 280 characters to 4,000, an increase of 14 times the current maximum.

The potential change arose when a user asked Musk whether it was “true that Twitter is set to increase the characters from 280 to 4000.” Musk, succinctly, replied “Yes.”

Of course, Musk doesn’t always mean what he says on Twitter. And even if he does, his plans on the site have been erratic so far and constantly subject to change.

Musk, however, has long indicated his desire to increase Twitter’s character count. In late November, he seemed to be leaning toward a 1,000-character count limit, telling a user who inquired about the change “it’s on the todo [sic] list.

Part of the reason for that desire might be found in his own history. In April a judge ruled that one of Musk’s 2018 tweets about taking his company private was a lie. That blocked Musk’s effort to do away with an agreement with the SEC he agreed to in 2018 requiring him to get prior approval before tweeting about Tesla.

In an appeal of that ruling, he pointed to character limits as part of the issue, saying the judge “parsed the individual phrases of the various tweets and indicated certain other information should have accompanied the tweets, even though the short-form Twitter medium limits the number of characters per tweet.”

Part of Twitter’s appeal to many users has been its forced brevity. The company last increased its character count in 2017, going from 140 to 280.

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