To Go to 280 Characters?

It may or may not have gone unnoticed but Twitter (which is the main medium by which one ‘live-tweets’) has decided, after a very brief test period to increase the character limit from 140 characters to 280 characters.

Twitter is rolling out 280-character tweets around the world – The Verge

For this project, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to write most of the tweets in advance, which also means I could postpone deciding how to react to this change.

Doubling Twitter’s character limit, for a live-tweet project of this type offers a lot of potential benefits, such as being able to express each tweet with more clarity and also avoid the dreaded numbered-series tweets (1/7, 2/7, 3/7, etc…..).

However, for someone like me who has a tendency to be overly wordy at times (I have been called verbose) the 140-character limit encouraged concise writing.

A recent 140-character tweet:

Despite that I don’t think I can pass up the benefits of all those extra characters, so I have decided that I will keep a 140-character limit within my live-tweets for the content of the tweet, but all extra information such as the number, the date, hashtags and link, will not count towards that limit.

For example only the bolded part will count towards that 140 character limit:

No. 292: A $75000 bond issue for the General Hospital is a large request and Calgary has already borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars this year. 1907-11-16 #yyc #yyccc #yyc1907elxn #yychistory #Calgary #zoobridge

Here’s how it would look when tweeted:

My last of the old 140-character tweets will be sent on December 14th and the new longer tweets will begin on December 16th.

For more history on Calgary’s entire collection of unique, historic steel-truss bridges, check out Strictly A River Crossing.


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