Back in the day, Twitter’s 140-character limit made sense, as the company was still mostly focused on the mobile market and tweets had to comfortably fit into a single text message. Now, however, as the majority of Twitter users use the Web and mobile and desktop apps to engage with the service, this limit makes less and less sense. TweetDeck, the popular mobile and desktop Twitter client just unveiled a new service, Deck.ly, that allows users to write blog-length Tweets without character limits.
TweetDeck announced this service last week and now, thanks to the latest update to its desktop, Android and in-browser apps, the service is available to all TweetDeck users. TweetDeck users will be able to see these long Tweets in their apps, while everybody else will see a link to Deck.ly where the full text of the message is then displayed.
Other services like TwitLonger also offer similar features, but TweetDeck has the unique advantage of being able to build this service right into one of the world’s most popular Twitter clients. It’s worth noting, too, that thanks to its open architecture, Seesmic also offers a TwitLonger plugin for its desktop client.
For TweetDeck, This is About More Than Just Long Tweets
There is more to this service than just breaking Twitter’s 140-character limit, though. With Deck.ly, TweetDeck now offers a nascent web service that looks quite a bit like a minimalist blogging tool. It offers Disqus comments for every Deck.ly post, for example. Deck.ly also resolves links to images on popular Twitter photo-sharing services and displays them on the site. As of now, though, users don’t get a permalink to a list of their long tweets.
Deck.ly also gives the company a new way to monetize its services. While there is currently only a large house ad on every page, it’s easy to image a standard display or text ad taking its place in the long run.
One Major Problem: No API, Yet
As of now, though, Deck.ly doesn’t offer an API, so other developers can’t bake the service into their own apps. I would be surprised if the TweetDeck team didn’t have this on its roadmap already, but for now, this makes Deck.ly slightly less appealing.
Will This Change How You Tweet?
If you are a TweetDeck users, will this change how you tweet? Are you going to post long missives to Twitter now instead of pithy one-liners? Or will the closed nature of the system keep you from using it until other clients (and maybe Twitter itself) supports it?