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Twitter said to be considering plus-size tweet, above 140-character limit

A portrait of the Twitter logo in Ventura, Calif., in a December 21, 2013, file photo. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)

In August, Twitter announced that it was ditching the 140-character limit on direct messages, the so-called “private side” of the social media giant that lets users communicate with one another privately.

“You may be wondering what this means for the public side of Twitter,” the company said at the time. “In a word, nothing.”

But according to numerous media reports Tuesday, the sacrosanct character limit — the distinctive emblem of concision that helped make Twitter famous — may be on its way out, and up.

According to Re/code, Twitter is developing a new product that will permit more expansive tweets, an enterprise code-named “140 Plus,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

It’s also reportedly planning on redefining “characters” so that some things in a tweet, like user handles and links, don’t count, thus giving users a way to cheat the limit.

The lack of growth in the number of Twitter users has been a concern among shareholders, who have seen the value of Twitter shares decline from an all time high of $73 in December 2013 to its current range of about $24 to $25. According to Re/code, “Twitter is desperate to find new ways to attract users to the product.”

Twitter currently reports 316 million monthly active users and 500 million tweets per day. It makes most of its money from ad revenue, most of which comes from ads on mobile devices.

The company has not commented on the reports. And there may be an internal struggle underway over the proposal. “One of the main issues the company is grappling with,” said the Journal, “is by how much it should extend the limit and how that should look, a decision that could alter the basic Twitter experience, these people said. One camp is in favor of simply increasing it by 10 or so characters, while another camp would rather take the time to devote resources to building a rich publishing platform that could perhaps be monetized one day. What that platform would look like is unclear.”

Twitter had mixed reactions to the reports.