China’s microblog platform Weibo to remove 140-character limit

CCTV News

A loading page for Sina Corp.'s Sina Weibo microblogging service app is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s in an arranged photograph in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images (CFP distributed) A loading page for Sina Corp.’s Sina Weibo microblogging service app is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s in an arranged photograph in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images (CFP distributed)

Sina Weibo, China’s microblogging platform, has announced that it will remove the 140-character limitation for “paying users,” allowing them to write up to 2,000 characters, starting from January 28.

The company’s CEO Wang Gaofei confirmed the change, adding that they could potentially extend the service to all users starting on February 28. That decision, however, would only be taken after observing the performance of longer posts, he said.

Wang explained that removing the limit will help users produce content more realistically.

“In real life no person speaks in only 140 characters,” said Wang in an interview with the Chinese online magazine the paper.cn.

The snapshot of a letter from Weibo Open Platform discussing the change was re-tweeted by Wang’s personal weibo account on Wednesday. The letter stated that only 140 characters will be displayed in followers’ feeds, but a link to the extended content will be added at the end.

San Francisco-based Twitter has also been reportedly contemplating removing the 140-character limit for tweets. The company changed the rules for private messages in July 2015, allowing users to write 10,000 characters.

Chinese Weibo users had mixed views:

“It’s better to have character limitations; otherwise advertisements would occupy the screen,” a user named @aifapiqidesimei said.

“I am satisfied with it, as I am always keen to talk much,” a user named @yanwufei said.

“Why does Weibo have to imitate other media? No one would like to read a long article. It’s even worse than a blog,” a user named @warmth said.

Story by CCTV News