Why Twitter should move beyond 140 characters

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Felim McGrath / October 05, 2015

Last week, rumors emerged that Twitter is planning to drop its distinctive 140-character limit on tweets – a move which may leave the service without what many see as its USP but which could be essential to the site’s growth in the future.

Twitter has given itself a hard time recently for what it calls disappointing levels of growth in active usage. It’s now 22% of online adults (outside China) who are active on the platform, a figure which has seen little change over the last two years (aside from a small boost around the World Cup in Q3 2014).

However, look at visitation rates and things are much more positive. Twitter attracts almost twice as many monthly visitors as active users, some of whom don’t even have an account.

Ditching the 140-character limit can only be a good thing for these visitors, who are drawn to Twitter because of its reputation as a breaking-news platform, a public forum for discussion and a portal for updates from celebrities and brands. Longer posts mean more information and more in-depth news coverage, and more opportunities to attract and ultimately monetize visitors.