How will this impact Twitter users?
I think people have this idea in their head that they’re going to log into twitter and see posts that stretch the length of their screens. In all likelihood, the stream will remain virtually identical to today’s stream and you’ll simply see a “read more” button to unveil the remaining content. Tweets will most likely still need to be written with 140 characters in mind, but we’ll be able to consume additional content without leaving the platform. I personally believe this is going to lead to a more streamlined experience and some interesting new features regarding the types of content you can share via Twitter in the future.
How will this impact content creators?
I think there is a tremendous upside for content creators. Excerpts and/ or full pieces of content could be hosted within their streams, providing a more seamless consumption process for their audience. While excerpts could be a great way to provide a lengthier hook to draw people to a specific site, housing full pieces of content (which some people will certainly do) would potentially keep people from visiting an outside site entirely. I think one key factor that I haven’t seen discussed anywhere is whether or not hyperlinks will be available for use in the expanded content area.
That would be a big game changer.
Why is Twitter considering the expansion to a 10k character limit?
I believe this is simply a matter of opportunistic reinvention for Twitter. They want to expand beyond 140 characters is so that they can actually host content versus simply being a platform for pushing out links to content housed in other places. This opens up the platform for use with more media types and provides Twitter expanded revenue pathways via newly created ad types.
As long as the stream remains the same, minus the addition of a “read more” button, and tweets are still written with 140 characters in mind, I don’t think this change will be as disruptive to users as people believe. In fact, I believe the user experience will benefit from it. It is brands that will struggle with the change as there will be an expectation that some content is housed within the platform, meaning that it will be more difficult to drive traffic out of the platform to their own sites. We have to keep in mind that much of this is dependent on the specifics, like whether or not hyperlinks would be available for use in the expanded content area, though.
When will it happen?
My assumption is that Twitter will roll out an opt-in beta testing of the feature set at some point in 2016. If all goes well, there is a good chance we could all see this change in our streams this year.
Twitter isn’t going anywhere. Get ready for the change and start thinking about how you’ll tackle every scenario now.
Will you utilize excerpts and entice people to come to your site to finish the content? Perhaps you’ll start writing an additional intro for the content that you share instead of giving anything away within Twitter. Or, perhaps Twitter will really surprise us all and unveil incentives for creators to host their content and keep the traffic within the platform. At this point, all scenarios are plausible and those who have a game plan as changes are announced will capitalize greatly.