Twitter begins doubling tweet length to higher 280-character limit

Brittany A. Roston - Sep 26, 2017, 5:02 pm CDT
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Twitter begins doubling tweet length to higher 280-character limit

Rumors about such a change have been around for years, and now it has finally happened: Twitter has just doubled the character limit on tweets from 140 to 280. This change is aimed at reducing the need to ‘cram’ a thought into a tiny snippet of text, something argued as necessary for languages like English that require more characters to convey the same thoughts as other languages like Japanese.

The announcement was kicked off with an example: someone posting a tweet in a language like Japanese, Chinese or Korean is better able to express a thought in 140 characters versus someone posting in English, Spanish, or French. “We want every person around the world to easily express themselves,” the company explained in a blog post, and that is why it has decided to increase the character limit to 280.

English users report a high level of frustration at the character limit compared to Japanese users, Twitter explains. As well, English users are more likely to hit the character limit in tweets versus Japanese users. Twitter says that it sees users tweet more often in markets where they’re able to say more.

However, Twitter is being cautious about its rollout of this change, saying that it is only introducing the larger character limit to a small group of people for now. It will change this in the future, likely, but not before gathering feedback and data to make sure the change doesn’t cause an uproar among users.

When you can expect the larger character limit to roll your way is unclear. The company stresses that it isn’t doing away with brevity on the platform: “That is something we will never change,” it says. Ultimately, it seems the company is hoping this expanded character limit will do away with cumbersome ‘text-speak’ like using ‘bc’ instead of ‘because’ as well as the omission of words in order to express a thought in the limited space.

SOURCE: Twitter Blog


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