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Twitter (TWTR) to Increase Signature 140 Characters Limit?

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Media reports indicate that Twitter, Inc.TWTR is working on a feature that will allow its users to post tweets that are longer than its trademark limit of 140 characters. Also, the company might be revising the way in which the character limit is measured, such as omitting links and user handles from the count.

The idea of extending the number of characters has been widely debated since the commencement of the micro blogging site. While many favor it, others argue that extending the limit would contradict the premise on which the "service took off in the first place".

The news comes amid Twitter's attempts to become more appealing to the masses and thereby increase its user base. The company has made several changes to its service including removal of the 140 character limit for private messages and introduction of retweet with a comment option earlier in the year.

Another big opportunity for Twitter to improve its user base lies in strengthening its ties with journalists and media publications. In fact, the company is working on Project Lighting, a news curation feature aimed at helping journalists. Also, it is so designed that people can tune into Twitter events even without registering.

Stiff competition is one thing Twitter should be concerned about as most social media companies especially Facebook, Inc. FB is improving its connection with media. Earlier this month, Facebook unveiled Signal, a free of cost discovery and curation feature for journalists to help them with their newsgathering process.

Signal follows the company's high profile, journalism friendly Mentions for Profiles app launch in Aug 2015. The app helps journalists and readers to interact with each other. In May 2015, it also launched Instant Articles in association with The New York Times Company NYT to post articles straight on its mobile platform.

Apart from building a stronger user base, the other thing that Twitter badly needs to work on is bringing some stability in the top management. The company has been without a full time CEO for about three months now after Dick Costolo stepped down on Jul 1 and Jack Dorsey became the interim CEO. It needs a CEO who can steer the company to profitable territories and find ways to bolster investor confidence in the stock.

Twitter's inability to make profits, sluggish user growth rate and the lack of clarity regarding a permanent CEO to lead the company has widely reflected on its stock price.

Twitter's stock has lost 30% so far in the year and is trading just a notch above its IPO price of $26. Moreover, it suffered the ignominy of trading below its IPO price on some trading days this year.

Twitter at present is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. A better-ranked stock in the broader tech sector is Cvent, Inc. CVT which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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