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For better or worse, Twitter is finally embracing the tweetstorm

For better or worse, Twitter is finally embracing the tweetstorm
[Photo: Flickr user World’s Direction]

For years, intrepid Twitter users have been devising workarounds to allow for greater verbosity than can be crammed into 140 (or even 280) characters. One that has stuck is the tweetstorm—a series of tweets connected to each other as @replies. But unless you knew what you were doing, it wasn’t obvious how you created a tweetstorm—and it was even less clear how to read one from start to finish.

Now Twitter has started rolling out an update designed to make it easier to create and read tweetstorms. (The company prefers the less evocative term “threads.”) When you’re composing a tweet, a new button lets you add another tweet to the storm, and you can go on concatenating as many as you like. There’s also a new “Show this thread” label which should help people read a thread in its entirety.

How this will impact Twitter’s overall character, I’m not sure. The worst tweetstorms have always been self-indulgent blather, and we don’t need more of them. But the best ones are a worthy art form in themselves. Perhaps formalizing the medium will inspire more people to give it a try for all the right reasons.

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