These Twitter hacks get you 280-character tweets

Chris Davies - Sep 27, 2017, 5:11 pm CST
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These Twitter hacks get you 280-character tweets

Twitter set the cat among the pigeons (or whatever bird its logo actually is) yesterday, with news that it was testing out 280 character tweets. The double-length messages have met with mixed responses online, with some users embracing the fact that they have more characters, while others worry it’s an end to the forced-brevity that helps make the service so appealing. However, not everybody got to play.

Twitter said it was testing the system out with a small group of people, to see how it went down. Depending on the success of that trial, it might expand it to more users. That hasn’t stopped people wanting access from the get-go, mind.

Luckily there are a few ways around it, if you can’t be patient and wait for Twitter to give you 280-character tweet access now. Almost as soon as the functionality was spotted, coders started cooking up ways to work around the limited beta group. Some have since been locked down, but there are still a couple of possibilities.

Twitter user Prof9 was one of the first out the gate, cooking up a TamperMonkey script that forced the browser-based Twitter client to allow 280 characters. That’s since been blocked by the social network, it appears, but Prof9 did point us in the direction of an alternative or two.

The first is the handiwork of developer Juliette Pretot. She’s developed a bookmark that, when clicked as you’re looking at the browser-based version of Tweetdeck, should unlock 280 characters for your extended opining. It’s not the only workaround that still appears to be, well, working, however.

Developer Quinn Comendant cooked up an extension for Chrome that should do something similar. His system was initially available for both the regular Twitter and the TweetDeck browser-based interfaces, though some users are reporting that it now only works on the latter. “On Twitter it changes the “cramming” values in the init-data JSON and adds the new char-counter UI before the page executes,” Comendant writes. “On TweetDeck it overrides global JS methods for checking tweet length and adds the weighted_character_count param to the post request.”

Of course, Twitter could eventually patch up these exploits too, so how much mileage you get out of them could well vary.


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