The main difference between Twitter and other blogs and live journals is its laconism. You do not have to create a long post to share your emotions with others, just find room for your thoughts within the 140-word limit. But the developers of China’s version of Twitter, which is called Sina Weibo, are planning to go far beyond micro-blogging. They are going to change the message capacity from only 140 characters to 2,000! Now it will be possible to turn your account into a real online diary instead of leaving short messages.
Sina Weibo seems to be more flexible than its American prototype. American developers wanted to expand the capacity of tweets to 10,000 characters. But not all Twitter users supported this idea. They are sure that this change will deprive Twitter of its uniqueness and transform it into a simple blogging platform. Moreover, the change can lead to slower work of the social network. Twitter can lose its famous brevity and fast real-time service—the features that every modern user appreciates so much.
The developers of these micro-blogging social networks decided to face the issue of text limit expanding only at the end of 2015. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey told the journalists that modern people needed more space for their thoughts to be understood. Because of the 140-word limit, users have to add screenshots of text to their tweets. He mentioned that the idea of expanding was created just to save their time and efforts.
It is interesting to know that Sina Weibo has been conquering the attention of Chinese youth since 2010. “Weibo” is the Chinese translation of the term “micro-blog.” This unique social network is a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter. It is one of the most popular sites in China. Founders of Sina Weibo claim that expanding the text limit will give users “more choice” and “much better experience.” It is necessary to mention that all posts will still undergo strict governmental censorship.
Chinese users will get the opportunity to test the new version of Sina Weibo on Jan. 28. Unfortunately, testing will be available only to a group of registered beta-testers. Other 500 million users of the microblogging service will check all the benefits of the new format a month later.
However, everything depends on what the Chinese beta-testers will say about expanding. Only 10% of posts in Sina Weibo are longer than 120 characters (in Chinese). So, maybe this change is not necessary at all?