It started as an aside in my Twitter timeline yesterday, and by this morning the rumour had made the last article of national news. Twitter is considering increasing its character limit from 140 to… well, 10,000. This was enough to send the company’s share price down by a whopping 2%. To put this in context? Fitbit, the company who make my fitness watch, announced yesterday they’re going to try and grab a share of the Smartphone Watch market with their new Blaze. After that, their share price fell by more than 18%. So in terms of stock market panic? Trying to beat Apple is clearly more contentious than giving users more space to air their grievances.
It’s ironic that as I finally grasp how to use Twitter to my advantage with only pictures there’s the assertion that suddenly the social medial platform needs more than it has to somehow assure growth. I’m wondering at what point that became the indicator of success, that it seems that somewhere along this road I’ve travelled you’re only good if all you ever do makes increasing amounts of money. Materialism is all well and good, but ultimately it won’t be enough for many people, simply because you don’t quantify your worth with a number. It becomes a far more complex equation: happiness cannot be bought, however much some people might try to convince you otherwise.
However, in certain spheres, this is the only means to register whether you actually did a ‘good job’ or not.
— James Bond (@007) January 5, 2016
It is not a surprise that the latest Bond outing’s getting its release date pulled forward by Sony. In relation to Skyfall, the 24th outing for 007’s not been the success that was hoped, and considering it now holds the moniker of ‘one of the most expensive movies ever made’ there’s some quite serious moolah that needs to be made back on hard sales. Sky Movies will undoubtedly be clapping their hands together with glee, as the movie will be available to stream on release via their ‘watch anywhere’ platform. I know this because they tell me at least once a day on their own channels, probably more, and I realise with a measure of depression that this is my future. If you fail in Place A, you’ll be marketed to within an inch of your life from B to Z. They’ve got Star Wars: The Force Awakens too lined up, but I suspect it will be a while before that’s on my mobile.
I don’t like this version of The Future: it’s too much about selling things as units and not enough about merit and interest. There’s no finesse when your making things based on a market share. I’m far more interested in making things because you can and you want to. That’s where we go back to Twitter, because even if they give people 10,000 characters the majority of users aren’t going to want to fill them. Advertisers want 10k characters, not individuals. Newsmakers want the chance to use the platform but in reality? This change is to promote more revenue from big business. Twitter’s overriding appeal right now is that it isn’t Facebook, insofar as it’s not full of adverts or the client itself trying to sell you shit you don’t want.
If this comes to pass? People like me will just leave and go to a place where you don’t get sold to. This isn’t rocket science, people.
Mostly, I wish the World wasn’t the way it was, but ultimately I’m a realist. I make my place in the world a reflection of the person I am. That means I’ll buy a DvD of SPECTRE and watch it at my leisure. I’ll look at the Fitbit watch and if I think it’s a decent investment, I’ll buy one. As for Twitter? I think it doesn’t matter how many characters you have, if they’re all rubbish, then there’s no point. If all I do is use the words to sell and not educate? Waste of time and money, if you ask me.
The choices, ultimately, are yours to make and not for others to dictate.