Is Twitter beginning to become more responsive to the needs of their users or what? The latest update on Twitter focused more on media files. GIF files to be specific. And the good news is that Twitter users now have a 15MB limit to the size of the GIF file that can be sent. For a GIF file, that is very big. But the previous limit was just 5MB. Many users can tell you the frustrations of trying to send a GIF when the file size is limited to just 5MB.
So for those who love sending gif files, you can do so without Twitter telling you that awesome file you created is over the 5MB limit.
That is the good news. The bad news is that the new update is applicable only when you use Twitter on the web. For some reason, Twitter is prioritizing web over mobile apps. Perhaps they feel it would be difficult to create large Gifs on smartphone. But I feel they should have at least taken the limit to 10MB. That wouldn’t be a bad thing.
This new development was first reported by The Verge. According to them, it was first noticed by Twitter Support watchers and some folks hooked on making gifs generally. In fact, it was one of these group of people who first posted the news about the new update on Twitter. This is not some random internet troll though. We are talking the vice president of Marvel Digital Media, Ryan Penagos. His report was uploaded to Twitter with a few helpful gifs to highlight his point.
The last couple of years has being rather bleak for Twitter. For reasons closely tied to the fact that the firm refused to innovate and move with the times, the number of registered users on Twitter flat line at just over 300 million users.
This has hit Twitter’s bottom line as ads revenue also plummeted. It even gave rise to online jibes at the firm with #RipTwitter making the rounds. But Twitter responded with some initiatives to make Twitter a dynamic force again.
One such update was related to Periscope, the live video streaming service that was successfully copied by Facebook and more recently YouTube and some other services. Periscope was updated to include a sketching feature. This was designed to make it as exciting as Snapchat, the exciting app that in just 3 years has grown to have more daily users than Twitter.
And in the same month that Periscope Sketching was introduced, Twitter changed the category of the app from the social forum section in App Store to the news section. This was to give it more prominence and visibility to viewers who wanted to download the app. In its new category, Twitter is now the number one ranked app.
However, the most anticipated update to the service left most users disappointed. While users where clamoring for an extension of the 140 character limit for each post or update, what Twitter gave users was just tokenism at best. They decided not to include photos and urls among the character-count on Twitter. This gave users just about 30 more characters. A long way off from what users really wanted.
I see this move as a continuing exercise that would ultimately lead to the lifting off of that restriction on the allowable number of characters on Twitter.
This update is good though. Just another cog in the road to making Twitter formidable again. But seriously though, who would want to make a gif that is 15MB large?
image credit: theverge.com; flikr.com; itproportal.com; techvoize.com