Twitter Doubles Character Limit For Tweets To 280
Testing 1… 2… 280.
If you are used to tweeting with a limit of 140 characters, prepare yourself for a change because Twitter may add some spice to your tweets.
Can’t fit your Tweet into 140 characters? 🤔
We’re trying something new with a small group, and increasing the character limit to 280! Excited about the possibilities? Read our blog to find out how it all adds up. 👇https://t.co/C6hjsB9nbL
— Twitter (@Twitter) September 26, 2017
Twitter has said that it has started testing 280-character tweets, double the previous character limit, in a bid to help its users be more expressive. This should be a good news to those who struggle to fit their thoughts into 140 characters.
The company said in a blog post.
“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English. When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting — which is awesome!”
This change does not affect all languages though.
Twitter is about brevity, keeping it simple and straight to the point. The 140-character limit started originally to reflect the length of SMS messages which were limited to 160 characters (140 for your tweet and 20 for the username). This constraint encouraged creativity and Twitter quickly became a fast-moving, newsy playground.
This feature, however, is currently only available to a small group of people.
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
The graph that will change Twitter. The most impactful data science happens by asking the right questions and giving clear and compelling answers, fancy methods are often a distraction! https://t.co/Q9U97IsSVR pic.twitter.com/GiTwBueNYu
— Venu Satuluri (@venusatuluri) September 26, 2017
This is not the first time Twitter is considering this change. In late 2015, the company considered introducing tweets of up to 10,000 characters, which was to be developed with a new timeline that showed users the best tweets first, as opposed to its chronological, real-time order. This caused some disagreements in the company, but they arrived at a compromise the following year by introducing a timeline that showed the best tweets first and then tweets in the standard reverse-chronological order. It also excluded media attachments and usernames from the character limit.
So if you look at it from this perspective, this change is not as extreme as the other ones the company has considered.
However, with threaded replies, people can finish or continue their thoughts, leaving one to wonder if this change really is necessary and what it will bring.
Will it really encourage people to write more? Will the memes and jokes change or improve? Will it prevent global war from happening?
The company ended by saying:
“We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.”