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Why anyone should give a crap that Twitter’s likely upping the character limit to 10k

Twitter’s controversial hints about upgrading its signature character count from 140 to 10,000 have many enraged. Fear not, the 10,000 character limit is, ultimately, a good thing.

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The end is near

By this time, you’re probably aware of Twitter’s controversial hints about upgrading its signature character count from 140 to 10,000—a feature similar to the one already implemented in their messaging service (for those living under a rock, this article by SocialTimes offers a pretty comprehensive overview). Naturally, social media troglodytes near and far are coming out of the woodwork to defend or decry the proposed change.

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Oh, the humanity

25 years ago, few would have thought that one-sentence summaries and six-second videos would be the preferred marketing trend, but one need only look at platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Vine to ascertain low attention span pertinence in modern-day advertising. The average social media user doesn’t want to read more than approximately 250 words, and the prevalence of mobile users means information needs to be clean, quick, and readable on a screen.  With this in mind, it’s easy to see why Twitter’s proposed character limit revision is giving hardcore users heartburn.

Well, take a couple of tums and relax, you guys; the 10,000 character limit is, ultimately, a good thing.

“But Jack,” you protest, “Twitter’s appeal lies in its ability to deliver information in a concise and readable manner! Doesn’t upping the character limit to 10,000 negate Twitter’s entire purpose?” You bring up a good point, imaginary dissenter—but no, changing the character limit doesn’t void Twitter’s mission.

Your timeline won’t show over 140

For starters, the change will only affect the amount of information you CAN upload—you still won’t see more than 140 characters’ worth of text when scrolling through your timeline.

In other words, your browsing experience won’t change insofar as you won’t see any more text on your screen than you’re used to, and those pesky swarms of broken tweets in your feed will likely be condensed into one short paragraph. This also means that small businesses and content managers can still hook customers with the first 140 characters, with the option of providing more information.

Facilitating reads over clicks

That leads us to the simple matter of content consolidation. We’re much more likely to read a couple hundred words than click on a link, especially on mobile platforms. If companies can provide a quick and painless summary within the same platform as their soundbite, the next logical step is increased consumer growth. Convenience is chief among modern marketing aspects, and the 10,000 character limit will absolutely facilitate it.

Consumers are adaptive

“I don’t know, Jack,” you whine, “It seems like customers are going to be confused with a block of content on the page.” Again, that’s a fair point—as speed readers and skimmers, we seem to be startled at the sight of more than a few words—but you’re not giving enough credit to consumers OR businesses.

Consumers are all about convenience; for example, Facebook businesses often have a customer service function on their pages, whereas such functionality is impaired on Twitter, with most businesses defaulting to linking customers to a separate service page—which, in turn, fosters inconvenience and loss of business.

It’s also worth noting that neither consumers nor business content managers are stupid, and both are highly adaptive in their natural habitats.

This, too, is ephemeral

Of course, when all is said and done, the angst over this development is going to pass in the blink of an eye. Look at all the drastic changes in social media interfaces and functionality in the last 6 months; who’s still talking about Twitter’s layout renovation or Facebook’s timeline overhaul? Neither of these platforms is even close to becoming defunct as a result of such changes, and business is still booming on both of them.

Remember, convenience is King—and Twitter is pushing for ownership of the social media kingdom.

#Twitter10K

Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove’s Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

Social Media

Facebook wants your nudes now to protect you from revenge porn later

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook, attempting to get in front of revenge porn, is requesting that users send in all of their nudes.

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In a heroic and totally innovative attempt to combat revenge porn, Facebook has come up with the following solution: “PM US UR NUDEZ.”

No seriously. They want your nudes.

But don’t worry, they’re only going to be viewed by a small group of people for manual confirmation of said nudes, and then stored temporarily… for reasons.

That part gets a little fuzzy. Some sources report that Facebook isn’t actually storing the images, just the links. This is meant to convert the image to a digital footprint, known as a hash, which is supposed to prevent the content from being upload to Facebook again.

Others say Facebook only stores the images for a short period of time and then deletes them.

What we do know, is this is a new program being tested in Australia where Facebook has partnered with a small government agency known as e-Safety and is requesting intimate or nude photos that could potentially be used for revenge porn in an effort to pre-emptively prevent such an incident.

Revenge porn is basically when someone uploads your personal and private photos online without your consent. Rather than address the issue of whether or not it’s such a good idea to take photos on a mobile, hackable device, it’s better to just send a large corporation all your nudes… through their Messenger app. /sarcasm

For your protection.

According to the commissioner of the e-Safety office, Julie Inman Grant, however, they’re using artificial intelligence and photo-matching technologies… and storing the links!

If this isn’t convincing enough, British law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP wrote in a statement to Newsweek, “We would expect that Facebook has absolutely watertight systems to guard the privacy of victims. It is quite counter-intuitive to send such intimate images to an unknown recipient.”

Oh, she wasn’t joking.

I’m not sure how many people still hold onto old intimate photos of themselves, but I am doubtful that it’s enough for this to really be effective as it only prevents intimate photos from being shared on Facebook. At least that’s the plan.

Reactions to this announcement have largely been met with amusement and criticism ranging from commentary on Mark Zuckerberg and Co. being total pervs, and theories of shared Facebook memories: “”Happy Memories: It’s been 1 Year since you uploaded 47 pictures of you in your birthday suit”!

Either way, I can only imagine someone’s inbox is flooded with crotch shots right now, and Zuckerberg has a potential new industry in the works.

Just sayin’.

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Social Media

Twitter might make a profit for the first time… ever

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter seems to be very popular but it may surprise you to know that this is the very first time they might make a profit.

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Twitter reports that after a year of slashing expenses and putting itself in a position to sell data to other companies, it’s expected to be profitable. What’s surprising (considering how #huge Twitter is) is that this the first time that it will be profitable based on “generally accepted accounting principles” – #GAAP!.

In the 11 years since Twitter took to the field, it has never once met this standard, operating at a loss of nearly 2.5 billion dollars since its inception.

Twitter has struggled of a number of reasons, but particularly after going public in 2013 it suffered declining user growth, the rise of the #twittertrolls (coincidentally, Troll’s are discussed in my favorite TIME piece about the internet – located here), and competition from Facebook for the tough realm of advertising.

Since 2013, shares fell steadily, but things have increased thanks to some optimistic changes – the promise to crack down on harassment and abuse, a feed arranged by algorithm instead of time, and Twitter’s most vocal fan of late, President Donald Trump.

For the numbers fans, Reuters provides some input: Twitter’s loss narrowed to about 21 million down from 103 million this year. They have worked to cut a great deal of expenses -16 percent across the board broadly impacting sales, marketing, and R&D.

This kind of focused core improvement (can) help tip the balance sheet on the expenses side – but generating revenues remains a challenge due to slow growth. Twitter hopes to relieve this by working out some deals to sell data – the currency of the 21st century.

Several months ago, TechCrunch made perhaps the most important observation – that despite the fact Twitter has changed the world, changed our marketing, and empowered us to connect with other people, it has remained unprofitable. Many small and large businesses profit from Twitter, but in these 11 years the company hasn’t #sharedinthewealth.

Twitter is touching every realm of business and for American’s, is touching every aspect of their lives given its new form as the preferred medium of the political sphere. Given that, they have much to do to change.

Facebook commands an audience five times the size of Twitter – and their ability to reach success for the future seems #questionable. And how Twitter’s success changes the scape of influence, outreach, and entrepreneurship is something else to be seen.

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Social Media

Is Facebook a potential Slack killer?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook’s steady ascent from social networking into the business world is giving Slack a run for their money.

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When it comes to the business realm, Facebook has steadily been increasing their reputation. Though Facebook is pinned as the social network, they are now proving to everyone that they can dominate in the professional sector as well.

Last year, Facebook launched an ad-free version of the site meant for the office called Workplace. Initially, 1,000 companies were signed on to try out this “Facebook for the office” in its starter phase.

As of last week, Facebook announced that 30,000 organizations currently use Workplace. These aren’t just small time companies. Some of Workplace’s users include Starbucks, Lyft, Spotify, Heineken, Delta and most recently Walmart.

It seems that overnight it grew from another side project to a valid rival for other professional communication tools like Slack.

Slack is the go-to site for business professionals. With over 6 million users and acquiring more every day, Slack is the place for teams to collaborate in real-time. It has virtually replaced email and external software when it comes to internal communication.

Slack has been successful at acquiring small corporations to use their service.

The problem is that Slack has yet to join forces with larger clients that have now turned to other applications. Just last year, Uber left Slack because they could not handle their large-scale communication needs.

In addition to being able to handle the needs of large companies, Facebook also offers cheaper services than Slack. A premium account with Workplace costs $3 per user each month while Slack charges double at $6.67 per user each month.

With the rapid growth and major reputation of Facebook behind it, many predict that Workplace will replace Slack, and other sites like it, in the not so distant future.

Recently, Facebook also launched the Workplace desktop app and plan to include group video chat. The biggest obstacle Workplace faces is the association with Facebook. It is ironic, since it is also their greatest strength.

The truth remains that many people think of Facebook solely as a social media network. Many companies forbid the use of it at work so the transition from the personal to the professional realm is still an uphill battle.

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