Twitter seems to be going through a bit of a crisis right now. After the mostly unpopular decision to rollout the new 280-character tweet limit worldwide and its temporary ban on verifying accounts, the site has taken the next logical action: increasing the maximum length of display names to 50 characters.
Rumors that Twitter would increase its long-used 140-character tweet restriction had been circling for years, and a new test that doubled this limit finally arrived in September. Earlier this week, the update arrived for all users, many of whom weren’t happy about the change, complaining that it removed the brevity and wit often seen in Twitter posts.
Books can be as long as they need to be. A tweet should be short and sweet.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 9, 2017
Now, the company has continued removing limits. This time, it's the display names—not the @username handles—that are affected. The previous limit of 20 characters has more than doubled to 50, which will be useful for those languages where names are exceedingly long. In reality, it will mostly be used to add emojis or constantly change display names into lengthy statements.
Starting today, your Twitter display name can be up to 50 characters in length! Go ahead, add that middle name or even a few more emojis. https://t.co/QBxx9Hnn1j— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) November 10, 2017
While there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with twitter increasing the length of its display names, it comes at a time when the site should really be addressing other elements of its service. Yesterday, Twitter temporarily suspended its account verification process, a response to the outrage it caused by verifying white supremacists and other controversial public figures.
It turns out that some Twitter users have discovered a surprising use for 280 characters: board games. People are using the site to play Connect Four, Chess, and Checkers.
People are literally playing Connect Four on my timeline now.— Jdawg @ ????????? (@Jdawg926) November 8, 2017
280 characters was a mistake. pic.twitter.com/unO16YgPlm
It's certainly been an eventful few weeks for Twitter. Earlier this month, a third-party contractor on their last day on the job shut down Donald Trump’s account for 11 minutes.