Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Twitter Breakthrough: More Letters Available Soon

Those of you who use Twitter on a regular basis have learned that despite its limitations it can be a tremendously useful form of social interaction. When I first began blogging in 2007 it was through Twitter that I "met" many of the artists I interviewed from all over the world. It was by means of Twitter that the news broke regarding the Mumbai massacre during Thanksgiving weekend 2008. By means of Twitter revolutions have been organized and careers damaged.

As we've seen, 144 characters can really accomplish a lot, though actually if you add links you have even fewer. And if you drop in a photo then you really do crimp what you can say.

Marketers, who measure everything, say that adding a photo increases readership by more than double, so this past year we've seen a real influx of photos being added to the news feed.

This week, Bloomberg News passed along a rumor that Twitter is planning to change the manner in which it counts links. As most Twitter users know, when you drop in a link they (Twitter) shorten it to 23 characters. As most Internet users know well, some URLs are already 144 characters in length, which would render adding a message useless. The Bloomberg article states that links and photos will not be counted. In other words, when you Tweet you do not have to subtract 23 characters for a link and another couple dozen for the photo. You still get to keep your original 144 characters.

As in everything else in life, there will likely be unintended consequences. Twitter has, however, most likely spent a boatload of time and money researching and dissecting the implications of this new development.

EdNote: the article does include a disclaimer on the matter. "The company declined to comment."

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Naturally all this speculation dislodged from my memory vault this story about Flutter:


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For what it's worth, one of the cool features of Twitter is the hashtag. If you're following the local arts scene in Duluth you will want to look for #DuluthArt. And if you're a Twitter user you can find Tweets related to next week's Duluth Dylan Fest at #Dylan-Fest. We'd rather have you join us here, but if you can't make it in person, then just follow along on Twitter.

Meantime, life goes on all around you. Engage it.

1 comment:

Ed Newman said...

this story has been confirmed.
http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-confirms-plan-to-exclude-photos-and-videos-from-140-character-limit-2016-5?nr_email_referer=1&utm_content=TechSelect&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_campaign=BI%20Tech%20%28Tuesday%20Thursday%29%202016-05-24&utm_term=Tech%20Select