Category: long status updates

Have You Noticed Facebook Status Updates Getting Longer?

The article to which I’m linking in mashable was written almost a year ago, but I haven’t seen any changes since then. It discusses the length of Facebook status updates, without getting into whether or not people care for them. In the past few months I’ve seen updates getting longer and I’ve been wondering if this is a new trend…or not. I’m also curious to see what people think about long status updates, especially if it’s selling or promoting something we may or may not need.

I’m on the fence about it. I have one facebook friend who lives in New Jersey and he posts status updates sometimes that rival most blog posts. But he’s not hocking his wares. He’s writing his updates from his heart and he’s doing it in an honest, genuine way. In other words, he’s not trying to get anyone to buy…or buy into…any bullshit.

As of this time last year, this is how long an update could be:

You can now post a status update measuring 63,206 characters.

But not one character more than that. Sorry, would-be Facebook novelists; you’ll have to split your prose into multiple updates. (As Lavrusik points out, an average novel will now require nine status updates.) This also goes for group messages and posts on your friends’ walls — so you can now annoy the heck out of them with unreasonably long catch-up messages.

Facebook update character limits have been expanding almost as rapidly as the social network itself. Until March 2009, the limit was barely bigger than Twitter’s, at 160 characters. Then 420 characters marked the end of your post’s potential. This summer, it jumped from 500 to 5,000, and now the limit has hit the stratosphere.

I’m not sure if it’s changed much since then, but if it has I’m hoping someone will let me know. I wouldn’t make a habit of doing it simply because I would be afraid that most of my Facebook friends would find it annoying. In any event, if you see longer Facebook posts, this could be the reason why. The link I shared even shows a graph about how the number of characters has increased since Facebook began. And the good thing is that if you don’t like long facebook updates all you have to do is click “hide” from the newsfeed and you’ll never have to see them again.