Twitter users are like characters in some sort of Gothic morality tale, strung up in cages above an abyss, subjected to the malevolent caprices of their captors, and buffeted on all sides by naught but the screams of their fellow prisoners. It’s a lot of fun! A big old cocktail party on the internet, where Nazis rub elbows with ponderous thinkfluencers, porn bots, anonymous trolls hiding behind anime avatars, clueless normies, and, of course, celebs, tons of sweet, distressingly transparent celebs. Just yesterday, Twitter decided to grant all of these fun-having internet-users a newly expanded character count, a bounteous gift that they responded to by screaming in wide-eyed terror at the manifest, vibrating horror of being online.
Twitter’s reasoning for the character increase is that the original 140-character limit was artificially imposed by the lengths of text messages, dating back to the site’s origins in the pre-smartphone era. Furthermore, English is a character-heavy language; the platform enables much richer communication in other regions of the world and still functions just fine. So, now that our cellphones can all do a lot more, why not increase the character count, and perhaps along the way encourage slightly richer, more substantive dialogue, rather than the pithy, endlessly atomized debate currently engendered by the platform’s structure?
Of course, on the other hand, there remains the fact that they could’ve used their engineering efforts to make the place slightly less awful with such simple features as an edit button, tangible oversight on harassment reports, or just, you know, ridding the website of Nazis. Accordingly, there is not a single person who is happy about the new characters.
Others mourned the loss of brevity—a rarity in online writing, and a skill employed by the best on Twitter.
The character counter is now a circle, which people also hate, just as they hated the circle profile images back in June. People hate circles?
The obvious power move here is to stick to the old character counts no matter what.
On the bright side, the new character counts let us more richly relive our memories.
Also, um, a bunch of British police accounts, sat around tweeting “nee-naw” at each other, Donald Trump insulted some people in his own party, and Dril, of course, has been left out of the whole thing.
It’s still Twitter, in other words.