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Twitter Looking to Expand 140 Character Limit Very Soon

Twitter users may soon be able to tweet more than just 140 characters at a time, a new report suggests.

According to Re/Code, the social network is working on a new product that will allow its users to tweet beyond the 140-character limit.

Although the report notes users will be able to publish “long-form content to the service,” it’s unclear how exactly this would work. Existing services such as OneShot or TwitLonger allows users a way to share long messages to the site; OneShot uses an image and TwitLonger links to an outside page and includes a continued note in the tweet to keep on reading.

This post was made on TwitLonger. Lots of people ask how it works, so the easiest way is to show you how… (cont)

— TwitLonger (@twitlonger) June 1, 2014

The move would be a big move for Twitter, which has long embraced the 140-character restriction. The company declined to comment on the report.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal noted that interim CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey is behind the project, which has been given the name “140 Plus.”

It added one way the company is considering an expansion is by upping its character limit to 150 or more. However, some people internally believe a better answer to the restrictions is building a publishing platform, the report said.

It’s also possible that the site could allow users to embed more text within a tweet, along with the option for it to expand to view more. This would keep the streamlined look of Twitter relatively the same.

The news comes a little over a month after the company opened up its direct messaging service to exceed 140 characters. It also lands at a time where Dorsey remains the top candidate to become permanent CEO of Twitter.

Twitter is also said to be revamping the way it approaches new products — rather than rolling out incremental updates, it’s looking to introduce bigger changes more aligned with its overall vision, according to the Wall Street Journal.

New Twitter Tool Makes it Slightly Easier For You to Report Threats to Police

Twitter’s new harassment-reporting tool is making it easier for users to report threatening tweets to the police. Sort of.Users who report threatening tweets now have the option of receiving an emailed report, summarizing the tweet, when it was sent and other information that may be relevant to law enforcement.

Twitter 7

It’s still up to individual users, however, to bring these reports to the attention of police and other officials. It’s not clear what, if any, impact this will have for police investigations. The emailed reports don’t provide information Twitter users couldn’t find on their own, though it will save users some time from having to find the information themselves.

Twitter also provides a series of guidelines and recommendations to officials, which include their policies for how they handle requests for non-public information (which require a subpoena or court order) and emergency disclosure requests.

But outside of how to make official requests, Twitter doesn’t provide extensive information on how to help users. For example, in the “assisting a Twitter user” section of its guidelines, Twitter suggests that “most issues” can be handled by Twitter itself, which seems a little circular given that these reports are meant to give users facing threats new ways to get help from police.

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An example of one of the reports.

Image: Twitter

“We can’t compel law enforcement to act on threats (the user will have to do that him/herself), but we can provide users with the information law enforcement will request from them,” Twitter’s Nu Wexler said.

Tuesday’s update is the latest in a series of steps the social network has recently taken to combat threats and abuse on its platform. The company has come under increasing scrutiny for its failure to effectively deal with these issues, which the recent Gamergate debacle brought into sharp focus.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told employees in an internal memo, which was later leaked to the media, that the company needs to fix how it handles issues of trolling and abuse on the platform. Last December, the company introduced better reporting tools, and just last week the site updated its privacy guidelines to address revenge porn.

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