Twitter continues its quest to allow its users to express themselves in more than 140 characters. Approximately a month after Twitter increase character count to 280 characters, the social media platform announced that it will officially support what it is calling “threads.”
Threads are what we’ve all been unofficially calling tweetstorms. It used to be that users had to reply to their own tweet to start and continue a thread. However, this was frequently disrupted by replies from other people, which would make it difficult to read an old thread. Twitter saw that users were having trouble keeping a thread on track that way, so the company has decided to make threads an official feature.
Creating a thread with the new system isn’t much different than the old way. It’s just a little easier and more intuitive. Now to create a thread, Twitter users will create a tweet and then select a “+” button to move on to the next Tweet. Users can do this as many times as they need to until their thought is complete. Twitter will also add this feature to already published tweets. The company believes this will make threads easier to read.
With Twitter’s increasing support for longer formats, the company continues to move away from what it was known for: short ideas and quick thoughts followed by links to other sites. The 140-character limit and lack of support for tweetstorms/threads forced people to be concise and made the platform ideal for comedians and news organization. While that aspect of the site isn’t going away, Twitter’s content is changing.
It looks like in an attempt to increase the value of Twitter advertising, Twitter is coming up with ways to keep users on the site longer by allowing native content to be longer, which is making the site lose its identity.