Twitter announced today that it is going to tweak its platform such that links, photos, and other media no longer count against the 140 character limit. That's a great idea, and really they ought to go further and make it possible for tweets of arbitrary length to appear — even if the main feed only displays a short introduction.
This right here is why:
Extended tweets are a great idea pic.twitter.com/ldnTO0F9tp— Matty Glesias (@m_glesias) January 5, 2016
Speaking as someone who loves Twitter and who worries about the fact that it is failing in stock market terms, I think this is a sign of why bringing back Jack Dorsey as CEO was ultimately a good idea. Simply put, a founder has the standing and clout to make this kind of fundamental change, whereas Dick Costolo never did.
My main fear is simply that it's too little, too late at this point. The Twitter product has been very slow to evolve over the years. To this day, the company seems to be having trouble rolling out new features like polls to the full suite of Twitter apps — TweetDeck doesn't have polls yet, for example — and really making Twitter a home to natively supported longer-form essays is something they should have done a year ago or more.
Update: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made a similar argument in his own tweet: