Last week the social media behemoth announced that user statuses would now extend to 63,206 characters. This increase includes wall posts too. Facebook engineer Bob Baldwin chose 63,206 characters for "nerdy" reasons. He wrote, “I set the exact limit to something nerdy. Facebook … Face Boo K … hex(FACE) – K … 64206 – 1000 = 63206."
To put this into perspective, a novel is about 500,000 words, and you would be able to write one in nine status posts. The new limit is also equal to 451.47 tweets. This is the biggest expansion to status updates since September 2011, when the company expanded statuses from 500 to 5,000 characters. Many are speculating this change may mean the notes function will be phased out and that this is a way to keep Google+ at bay because according to the head honchos, Google+ has no character limits, although tests have shown Google+ stops at 100,000 characters.
While the long winded people of the world are rejoicing, much of the public seems to be asking “why?” One commenter on Mashable said, “Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of a status update? If you have that much to say, start a blog. I’ll stick to Twitter, thank you.” Another asked, “what happened to short,sharp and succinct?”
Also many see this as way for “that friend” to go on a long winded tirade about how they hate their job, or to give even more inane details about their daily activities.
However, for companies this change is a boon. The extension will allow them to share more with their fans without having to worry about condensing information to 500 characters. For example, a company could post official statements and press releases directly to Facebook in their entirety as long as they fall within the 63,206 character limit. This will also allow companies to provide thorough and detailed answers to questions which may require more than 500 characters to answer.
Companies should take full advantage of this. Use this to take public interaction and engagement to the next level.This is a golden opportunity. For those that have Facebook for personal use, prepare to become "one" with the hide button because you may find yourself using it more often.