Twitter may soon let you write 2,000-word tweets

The social network, looking for ways to woo new users, is reportedly planning to allow 10,000-character tweets by the end of March.

Terry Collins Staff Reporter, CNET News
Terry writes about social networking giants and legal issues in Silicon Valley for CNET News. He joined CNET News from the Associated Press, where he spent the six years covering major breaking news in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before the AP, Terry worked at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Kansas City Star. Terry's a native of Chicago.
Terry Collins
2 min read

From tweeting to warbling? Twitter may start letting people post messages that are as long as 10,000 characters.

Erik Tham/Corbis

Adios short, snappy tweets? Twitter's long-rumored move to really, really long tweets could be rolled out by the end of March, according to a report.

The San Francisco company is apparently exploring different tweet lengths that go well beyond the 140-character limit that's been the hallmark of the 10-year-old microblogging service. Twitter is currently looking at capping tweets at 10,000 characters (or about 2,000 words), though that could change, according to a Tuesday report from Recode, which cites multiple people familiar with the plans.

A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been exploring ways to attract new users. That's been a struggle for the company. Twitter in October said 320 million people actively use the service every month (compared to 1.55 billion users on Facebook), up only 1 percent from the previous three months. To woo new users, Twitter has been adding curated videos and photos, displaying tweets in search results and making other people's tweets easier to find. In August, the company let users send 1,000-character private chats to each other.

Apparently, some people aren't pleased with the idea of such long-form posts: Twitter shares fell nearly 3 percent Tuesday on the rumored change. Recode first reported the potential switch to longer tweets in September.

Despite the less-than-thrilled reaction by some of the Twitter faithful, Dorsey is likely to push for this and other changes. He posted a tweet Tuesday afternoon that appears to defend the upcoming change.

"We've spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it," he wrote. "Instead, what if that text...was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That's more utility and power."

Since becoming full-time CEO in October, Dorsey has repeatedly said the social network needs to be easier to use. That month, he also laid off 8 percent of Twitter's workforce to create a "faster" and "nimbler" engineering team building products "focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact."

UPDATED AT 3:15pm PT to include tweet from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.