One Twitter user recently revealed a new unreleased feature of the Twitter Android app in the form of an ability to create longer tweets that will be chopped up into smaller bits that fit the 140 character limit. The user posted a couple of screenshots showing the creation of the so-called “tweet storm” or chained tweets that the social network will display as a single interlinked thread. Besides splitting the text into several messages that get sent at the same time, the feature also displays the tweet count, seemingly being limited to 352 tweets in a single tweet storm (49,280 characters). This feature is still not live in the public version of the Twitter app for Android but can seemingly be activated from the app’s code.
Twitter has been subjected to some criticism for the past couple of years for being an inaccessible platform for users who want to do more than microblogging and has its user base started stagnating as of the company’s latest consolidated financial report. “Tweet storm” or “tweetstorm” is a term coined by Twitter users back in 2014 when people started posting lengthy strings of connected tweets, trying to express their views on a topic in more than 140 characters. Normally, your tweets are independent posts unless you’re replying to someone’s tweet, so the only way to create a full blog-style story is to chain replies to your original tweet, making sure the latest update is posted as a reply to the correct tweet. Obviously, this is just one misstep away from a mess of jumbled tweets and a tool for posting a single collapsible thread would make creating and reading stories less of a hassle for end users.
Whether the tweet storm feature is actually coming to the Twitter app has yet to be confirmed. A Twitter representative recently refused to make any comments on the possibility of tweet storms becoming “threads” in the app or if the beta test of the feature will be available to the general public in the future. Twitter has a history of testing unreleased features for long periods of time and it remains to be seen whether this particular functionality becomes widely available in the coming months.