Twitter Ups 140 To 280 Character Limit, Goes From Micro Blog To Mini Blog
When Pownce and Twitter were created in 2006 and 2007, respectively, the platforms ushered in the area of “micro-blogging”, or sharing a view or thought using a few characters, in that case 140 of them.
The popularity of both Pownce and Twitter pushed the method of sharing thoughts in just 140 characters into the mainstream. When Pownce was shut down after it’s sale to Six Apart by its founder Leah Culver (who was also part of Owen Thomas’ drinking club at the old Moose’s bar and restaurant in San Francisco), it gave the small but growing field of social media to Twitter for the taking. And that happened just as the idea of putting ideas into 140 characters too hold.
(It must be noted that it’s easy to make a PhP-based Twitter-style platform, and a firm called Iden.ti.ca allowed you to do just that before it was shut down three years ago.)
So, the act of tweeting (rather than ‘Powncing’) was born. And with that came events like Jeff Pulver’s annual “140 Conference” in New York. Person upon person, from Gary Vanuchuck to MC Hammer became evangelists of this new form of communication. Whole consulting firms have grown around the idea of tweeting – and that, in turn, has always been considered as communicating in 140 characters.
And that act was called ‘micro-blogging’.
And now, after 10 years of tweeting, Twitter changes the game and ups the character limit by double, or to 280 characters.
Think about it: 140 gives way to 280. What does it mean? Well, it means we no longer do ‘micro-blogging’ but mini-blogging. And it means that Twitter itself is taking aim at Facebook, which has no comparable limits in it’s system. But what will the 280 allow? Well, more content, more text, and more expression of ideas. It will result in more news delivered on the Twitter account, and cause it to behave a lot like a cross between a blog and Facebook. It will not put WordPress out of business, but may permit a more complete presentation of blog-based content in Twitter. One thing it will cause is more content engagement.
What puzzles me is why the Twitter management didn’t free up part of that 280 character space for ads?