Twitter Blue now allows 10,000-character tweets with bold and italic text style. The announcement comes just weeks after Twitter Blue’s character limit was raised from 280 to 4,000 in February. The latest increase and additional formatting features are seemingly designed to help Twitter compete with newsletter platforms like Substack, which Elon Musk has recently targeted.
Twitter introduced long-form writing options before. Under prior leadership, the company tested a new Notes feature for authors and bought Revue, a Substack competitor, in 2021. Musk ended both initiatives.
Twitter openly targets Substack. The company rebranded its “Super Follows” feature, which lets users subscribe to individual accounts to access exclusive content, to “Subscriptions.” It promoted it alongside the new character limit and formatting options as a way for creators to earn directly through Twitter. Musk also vowed Twitter will not take subscription revenue from creators for a year. Subscriptions monetize just US consumers.
Trying to lure authors with new tools and good revenue conditions is less aggressive than Twitter’s recent attacks on competitor platforms. Last week, Twitter blocked Substack users from embedding tweets into their posts and flagged them as “potentially spammy or unsafe.” Twitter stopped throttling, and Substack implemented Twitter-like Notes a few days later.
Twitter must try to shed its short-form blogging reputation. Some creators like the new long-form capabilities, while many Twitter users don’t. According to The Information, Twitter Blue has 290,000 global members, approximately 0.1 percent of Twitter’s 250 million daily active users.