Twitter Blue subscribers are now able to post up to 10,000 characters in one tweet, as well as format their tweets with bold or italic text. It seems as though Twitter’s trying to bulk up the subscription service so people will actually sign up.
“Starting today, Twitter now supports Tweets up to 10,000 characters in length, with bold and italic text formatting,” the official Twitter Write wrote on Thursday. “Sign up for Twitter Blue to access these new features, and apply to enable Subscriptions on your account to earn income directly on Twitter.”
The general sentiment among Twitter users has been: “I ain’t reading all that.”
Twitter previously increased its subscribers’ character limit from 280 to 4000 in February, at which time the platform broke for several hours. Fortunately Twitter also introduced a “show more” feature to users’ feeds, which hides most of a longer tweet behind a link. This means you can quickly skip past the bloviating rather than give yourself RSI by scrolling through an entire manifesto.
The 10,000-character tweets make use of the “show more” feature as well. However, just as it was with Twitter’s previous character increase, the implementation of formatting and 10,000-character tweets appears buggy. Tech blogger Jane Manchun Wong found several bugs while experimenting with the new features, such as the “show more” link erroneously repeating numerous times when viewed in a browser. Bolded and italicised characters also appeared unformatted in the iOS mobile app, while in browsers the characters were duplicated.
Mashable has not reached out to Twitter for comment, as Twitter’s press email auto-replies to all inquiries with a poop emoji.
Twitter Blue’s new features are no doubt intended to make the paid subscription service look more appealing. CEO Elon Musk’s grand plan to monetise Twitter currently doesn’t seem to be working out, with only around three percent of legacy verified accounts opting in to Twitter Blue.
The new 10,000-character posts and formatting options also put Twitter in closer competition to newsletter platform Substack. The two companies are currently in a feud after the latter revealed Substack Notes earlier this month. Much like Twitter, this new feature allows Substack users to post short missives and share links, which other users can reply to or like.
Apparently Twitter didn’t like the competition, and heavily restricted links to Substack on its platform. Twitter users are unable to like, retweet, comment on, or pin tweets with links to Substack, and Twitter searches for the word “Substack” temporarily surfaced results for “newsletter” instead.
Twitter’s new 10,000 character tweets go against the entire microblogging culture it has built up until now. Many Twitter users scroll their feed precisely because they have neither the time nor inclination to read an entire essay. But at least the new formatting features will make it easier to tell the Twitter blue subscribers from the legacy verified accounts.