When Twitter was launched users could include up to 140 characters in each tweet. In 2017, this was increased to 280 following a successful trial among a small group of users.
However, these limits have, according to Twitter, making it common for users to direct followers to other platforms for longer announcements. In other instances, users will post pictures of the text instead if it goes over 280 characters.
To address this, the company says it will trial a new feature that will allow users to share a “note” of up to 2,500 words with their followers.
The feature aims to give writers more control over their content, as well as to make it easier to create longer forms of content within the Twitter platform.
Readers will be able to see a headline, and then they can access the note by clicking on the link. Additionally, the writer can embed photos, gifs, and other features into longer posts, which can then be accessed on and off Twitter. Notes can also be edited after publishing.
The trial of this feature will run for two months and will include a small group of users in the US, the UK, Canada, and Ghana. If successful, Twitter hopes that it will keep its audience on the platform, rather than being directed elsewhere.
When announcing the news about the Notes features, Twitter said: “From the rise of the screenshot announcement Tweet to the newsletter boom, a new reality became clear: people were writing long elsewhere, and then coming to Twitter to share their work and for the conversation surrounding all those words.
Twitter is where writers live. And as the platform for writers, it’s clear that Twitter is essential — from the proximity to an engaged audience to the conversation around a writer’s work to the community of readers (and, often, cheerleaders) that Twitter provides, to the critical role it plays in the livelihoods and careers of writers, on and off Twitter.”