When posting on Twitter, you’re limited to 140 characters. You can only replace so many words with emojis, which is why people share extended thoughts in the form of “tweetstorms,” or linked Tweets that tell a longer story. This is tricky to put together, though. In an effort to make it easier, Twitter may be testing a way to automate the process.
If you don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter, imagine sending a friend an extended rant over multiple old-fashioned SMS text messages. The modern Tweetstorm convention means posting each new Tweet as a reply to the previous one so they microblogging site keeps them together. Optionally, users number each message to make the whole thread easier to follow.
TechCrunch reports that one user discovered in the Android version of Twitter’s official mobile app a function that let him automatically turn a longer rant into a correctly formatted Tweetstorm.
Would making Tweetstorms easier to create be a good thing or a bad one for Twitter’s users? The format has fans and detractors, but the site has automated and integrated things that its users have invented on their own. Even basic features like the retweet and the hashtag were user-driven inventions that Twitter later made part of its software.
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, might have found even more traction with his anti-Comcast Tweetstorm had the posts been threaded so it were easier to read them all together.