Update: Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has confirmed that a change is coming, as spotted by The Wall Street Journal.
According to Recode, Twitter is in the process of developing a new long-form tweet with a 10,000 character limit. Recode’s sources suggest that this feature could arrive as soon as the end of the first quarter, though Twitter refused to comment. The longer tweets will not clog up your timeline—users will have to take additional action to see a tweet that exceeds the standard 140 characters.
Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter and returned as CEO last year, has stressed the importance of new initiatives that can turn around the company’s flagging trajectory. Fortune reported last fall that Twitter “lost close to $15 billion in market value in the last six months,” and the number of users grew by just 1.3% in the third quarter of 2015. Fortune concluded, “Twitter’s user growth remains slow to non-existent, which means large brands are likely to be less interested; that in turn means more low-rent, direct-response advertising… All of which leads to the possibility that Twitter’s revenue growth continues to decelerate.”
John Herrman, an editor at The Awl, suggested that increasing the character might allow Twitter to address this by controlling the revenue that comes from longer tweets, which would basically amount to articles—at six characters a word, 10,000 characters amounts to more than 1,600 words.
Another Twitter user suggested, “it’s not the size of your tweet, it’s how you use it.”