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The Upsides And Downsides Of A Wordier Twitter

Twitter is said to be considering a way to expand its messages beyond 140 characters. Which is more important: its growth or its niche?

By Evan Thomas | September 30, 2015

Twitter is thinking about breaking out of the 140-character limit that has defined the service since its inception.

Re/code's sources say Twitter as we know it will continue to exist, but a "new product" will give users the option to post longer messages to Twitter timelines.

The 140-character limit was a mostly arbitrary nod to the character limitations of SMS: a differentiator, but not always a good one.

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Now, with shareholder and investor pressure to grow its user base, making one of its limits, well, less of a limit could make Twitter more attractive. (Video via CNBC)

Its stock price could use a boost. Twitter has recorded losses every quarter since its IPO. And while its growth is stable, it's paltry: Compared to something like Facebook, Twitter is barely moving its user base.

But a writer at Fortune notes there "seems to be a concern about an already noisy social-media environment becoming even noisier once people can post updates of any length."

In other words, Twitter might have backed itself into this little character-limited corner. Any change to that formula could make it like any other service out there.

There's no indicator of if or when this expansion might go live. Twitter declined to comment for Re/code's story. (Video via Twitter)

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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