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Twitter Is Testing A 2,500-Word-Limit 'Notes' Feature

Twitter Is Testing A 2,500-Word-Limit 'Notes' Feature
Twitter is testing a new feature that will allow users to share "notes" of up to 2,500 words. Normally, posts on the social media site are limited to 280 characters.
Twitter stated that the change was made in response to people using the platform to share images of longer announcements and direct followers to external newsletters. The test will last two months and will feature a small group of writers from Canada, Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The new feature intends to retain readers in the Twitter ecosystem by allowing them to view a headline and then click on a link to receive the longer remark.
"Since the company's earliest days, writers have depended on Twitter to share their work, get noticed, be read, create conversation - everything but the actual writing," the company said, making the announcement using the new Notes product. "With Notes, the goal is to fill in that missing piece."
The latest step by Twitter follows its buyout of Revue, a Dutch newsletter start-up, last year.
It announced on Wednesday that Revue will be folded into the new Notes platform, which will allow writers to integrate gifs, photographs, and other features into long-form essays that can be read on and off Twitter.
After their notes have been published, users will be able to amend them.
Dr. Laura Toogood, a social media expert, said the trial was a huge step forward for Twitter. She claims that the function will encourage users to stay on the platform rather than linking to other websites that can hold long-form material.
"Adding this extra capability means that Twitter is now in a position to compete with some of the popular blogging platforms and potentially attract a new audience and a different type of user," she told the BBC.
"It will also encourage existing users to blog within Twitter, rather than move to other websites for this purpose, which will help to retain their audience."
Following an experiment with a limited sample of users, Twitter expanded the maximum amount of characters for tweets from 140 to 280 in 2017.
The latest action comes amid criticism of Twitter's commercial prospects, as Elon Musk's impending takeover raises questions about the company's future.
The company said in April that it was working on an edit button, shortly after Musk, who had requested such a feature, revealed that he had purchased a substantial interest in the company. Twitter stated that the two incidents were unrelated.
Musk has also stated that he believes there is potential in a subscription model in which users pay to utilise the site.
Dr. Nikki Usher, a journalism professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, said it was difficult to tell whether Twitter was experimenting with various forms for profit or with a genuine desire to improve the site.
"In this case, one of the things we do know is that people do not like to read long texts online," they told the BBC.
"So whether giving people 2,500 characters to work with will ultimately make a difference in the quality of the digital public sphere - well, I think it's unlikely. Is it a chance to grab headlines in advance of some major changes at the company? Absolutely."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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