A new tool that allows users to share “notes” of up to 2,500 words is being tested by Twitter.
Posts on the social media site are often limited to 280 characters. Twitter claimed that the change was in reaction to users using the service to post images of longer announcements and direct followers to external newsletters.
The test, which will last two months, will only include a small number of writers from Canada, Ghana, the UK, and the US.
Readers can view a headline and access the longer message by clicking on a link under the new feature, which attempts to keep audiences within the Twitter ecosystem.
Long-form writing that may be read on and off Twitter will allow authors to incorporate gifs, pictures, and other elements. After they have been published, notes can still be updated.
Dr Laura Toogood, a social media specialist, said the trial was a big step for Twitter. She claimed that rather than linking out to other websites that can house long-form content, the function would encourage users to remain on the platform itself.
According to the author, to compete with some of the well-known blogging platforms and perhaps draw in a new audience and different kinds of users, Twitter now has this additional feature.
In 2017, Twitter increased the maximum character limit for messages from 140 to 280 following an experiment with a small sample of users.
The most recent action comes at a time when Twitter’s business prospects are being scrutinised in light of Elon Musk’s proposed acquisition of the company, which raises doubts about its viability.
The company announced in April that it was developing an edit button, shortly after Mr Musk, who had pushed for such a feature, revealed he had purchased a significant stake in the company. According to Twitter, there is no connection between the events.
In addition, Mr Musk said he thought a subscription-based business model, in which users would pay to use the network, showed promise.
It’s difficult to tell if Twitter is experimenting with new forms out of profit-seeking or a sincere desire to attempt to enhance the platform, according to Dr Nikki Usher, a journalism professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.