Part of the fun and beauty of Twitter has always been its brevity. How much can you say in 140 characters? Little by little, Twitter has been figuring out ways to sort of cheat at its own game. Viewable pictures and videos were added earlier this year. And yesterday Twitter announced that some links will now be expandable so you can read more than the limit.
It’s easier than ever to discover breaking news and bylines. When you expand a Tweet linking to a news article by The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicleor Der Spiegel Online, you can see a preview with the headline, the introduction and sometimes the Twitter accounts of the publisher and writer. You can continue to read the article, follow these accounts, and reply, favorite or retweet the Tweet.
Please allow me to indulge my old-man cranky pants* for a moment. I come to Twitter to get quick bits of information. Pictures don’t bother me so much (no extra words there), and I rarely watch a video. But if I want to click on a link and go to another site, let me fly away. I’ll be back for more. I promise. Let a tweet be a tweet.
*Old-man cranky pants are polyester, almost reach the bottom of the shin, and are belted about two inches above the navel. They come in a variety of plaids, shades of brown, and mustard yellow. And they’re full of cantankerousness.