140 to 10,000, real quick

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The day has finally come.

On Jan. 5, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey announced, in a tweet, that the social network would be expanding its 140-character limit after rumors broke of the change earlier that day.

Even though Twitter did not begin with a 140-character limit, it has become a staple of the social network. A challenging staple, on some occasions, but also one that inspires “creativity and brevity… and a sense of speed,” according to Dorsey’s tweet.

When a social network tinkers with “its most iconic feature,” to quote a Jan. 5 Fast Company article, there will, of course, be varied discussion. The article also shared social media enthusiasts’140-character or less reactions on the breaking social media news of the day.

Some pondered why there was a limit at all?

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Some mentioned the guaranteed annoyance of users taking full advantage of the speculated 10,000-character limit. And, some even tweeted what we were all thinking: Twitter would never be the same.

Twitter is still debating on what the new character limit will actually be. According to Buzzfeed News, the 10,000-character rumor was based on Twitter’s direct message character limit. Twitter is also weighing the option of a “see more” option for tweets.

A monumental change such as the lifting of the character constraint is sure to change the dynamic of the platform. However, if it will be for the better or for the worse is still left to be decided.

Our initial question is: How will the network differentiate itself now? Without its famous 140-character limit, what will be its new, distinguishing, “iconic” feature? Surely not its ‘Moments’ tab. And, with all other major social networks using the almost old-school hashtag feature, what will make social media users want to continue tweeting their thoughts?

Only time (and characters) will tell.

By Sarah Oyarce, @sarahroof

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