The Google+ vs Facebook competition keeps getting fiercer. Yesterday Facebook announced that the post character limit would increase by 1100% to more than 60,000 characters. Why “more than” 60,000 you may ask? Facebook software engineer Bob Baldwin explains:
I set the exact limit to something nerdy. Facebook … Face Boo K … hex(FACE) – K … 64206 – 1000 = 63206 :-)
Facebook further went on to note that the average novel is about 5,000,000 characters, which can now be spread out in just 9 posts.
Long, Like Google+
Facebook hasn’t been taking the emergence of Google+ lightly, and this is just another example of Facebook fighting back.
Once Google+ launched, Facebook quickly retaliated with enhancements including video chat via Skype, smart lists and subscribe functionality.
Now that Facebook “subscribe” is available, this character limit increase makes sense as users can now follow people as well as brands.
One item that some bloggers enjoyed about Google+ was its ability to act as a microblog. Some folks like Kevin Rose think that Google+ could replace blogging as is provides better feedback and engagement.
Now Facebook is looking to attack this Google+ strength.
Status Update Size Growth
Since expansion of Facebook in October of 2005 the character limit for posts was 160 characters.
In 2009 Facebook implemented a 420 character maximum which didn’t move an ounce until the announcement of Google+.
Google+ was announced at the end of June and there was slight uptick in the Facebook allotment (500 characters) in July.
After seeing initial Google+ success, Facebook made a large move to 5,000 characters in September. This recent move to more than 60,000 comes close to the Google+maximum character limit which is approximately 100,000 characters.
This change mitigates the long-form Google+ advantage and adds value to Facebook “subscribes.” Will this help to hold off Google+? Will more people start using Facebook instead of blogs or tumblr? Only time will tell. One thing is certain, you’ll be seeing “See More” showing up a lot more in your stream.
For more info, see the Facebook + Journalists page.