Twitter's 140-character limit is all but sancrosanct, as Slate's Farhad Manjoo discovered a while back when he suggested doubling it. Diehards were horrified, and company honchos ridiculed the notion. But what's this? Twitter has just unveiled "expanded tweets" that allow a lot more characters and "interactive experiences" in tweets that link to material at certain partner sites—the New York Times, BuzzFeed, and TMZ to name a few, but expect the list to grow. (Manjoo's piece at Slate shows an example of what one of these looks like.)
Add up all those extras, and "expanded tweets" come in at up to 410 characters, even if the original technically remains 140 or less. Blasphemy? Nope, these "are a great development for Twitter, a way to add depth to the service while still clinging to its hyperabridged roots," writes Manjoo. Tiny text blocks just don't cut it anymore given all the photos, videos, songs, blogs, etc., out there. "Twitter’s purpose is to reflect everything that’s going on in this crazy ecosystem. If it takes a few hundred more characters to do so, what’s so bad about that?" Read the full piece here.