10,000 characters!? In a tweet!? This was the shot heard round the world over the holidays for Social Media Managers. ReCode was the first to announce the changes with their article, Twitter Considering 10,000-Character Limit for Tweets.
There were people excited, people infuriated, and people confused. While I didn’t quite take a stance as a Social Media Manager thinking that the extended character allowance would improve or deter my Twitter clients; I formulated some opinions in a different direction.
It’s great to know that Twitter as a corporation is self-reflecting and posing changes to their micro-blogging site. But are there some other changes they should make first?
Here is my list of features that Twitter should incorporate instead of the tweet character limit.
More Than 140 Characters For Direct Messages
When sending a direct message to another Twitter user, the site restricts this private message to be up to 140 characters, like a tweet. Why? If it’s not for the public eye, let’s go easy on the character count. Trying to crunch a private message into 140 characters or spreading it out into three different messages is unpleasant.
(Bonus: Sending a picture via direct message and being able to respond once to a user’s direct message even if he or she is not following you.)
Address The Option To Edit A Tweet
Should Twitter implement the option to edit a tweet after it’s been published? This is always a hot topic among social media lovers. Google and Facebook users (for certain content) currently enjoy an editing tool on posts, but Twitter has yet to offer this feature. While there are many positives and negatives to both ways of thinking (see here, here and here), Twitter should, at least, address the issue. “Once a Tweet has been posted, it can’t be changed,” Twitter’s FAQ section reads. Tell us the reasoning behind this.
Image Link Placement
If a user uploads a graphic to a tweet, Twitter will automatically place a link to the picture at the end of the tweet. Users should have the freedom to choose where within the body of the tweet the link should go. This is the one plus third-party application Twit Pic has over Twitter’s native photo-upload feature.
Trending Topics Explanations
A word, phrase or topic that is used at a greater rate than other topics is said to be a trending topic. The site displays 10 trending topics on the left side of its homepage. Deciphering what most topics mean at any given time is a real head-scratcher. Twitter ought to hire a full-time Trending Topics Editor to help give meaning to each topic. Sites like Page on WhatTheTrend, which attempt to explain any given trending topic, are not reliable and often produce outdated information. Give us clarity behind each trending topic and this section immediately becomes more useful for many users.
After reading my list, are there any features you would like to see come before the character limit increase?