November 8, 2017
The 280-character limit is here.
Twitter is officially rolling out expanded tweets to users worldwide, upping its character limit to 280 from the original limit of 140 characters.
The move comes after a brief test period during which a limited number of users were given access to the long tweets feature. After a little more than a month of testing, Twitter decided it was time to let more of its users express themselves in long form.
“We’re expanding the character limit,” Twitter said in a tweet. “We want it to be easier and faster for everyone to express themselves. More characters. More expression. More of what’s happening.”
Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen said one of the main reasons the company decided to up the character limit was to give people of all languages an equal opportunity to express themselves.
“In languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French,” Rosen said.
“We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean).”
Although many users expressed concern about their feeds being inundated with super-long tweets, Rosen said initial testing revealed that, once the novelty wore off, most users kept their tweets brief.
“During the first few days of the test many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behavior normalized,” she said. “We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained.”
Twitter stats showed that only five percent of tweets sent exceeded 140 characters while only two percent were more than 190 characters. But when people did take advantage of the increased limit, they received more likes, retweets and @mentions. They were also apt to attract more followers.
“People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall,” Rosen added.
“We are making this change after listening and observing a problem our global community was having (it wasn’t easy enough to Tweet!), studying data to understand how we could improve, trying it out, and listening to your feedback. We’ll continue listening and working to make Twitter easier for everyone while making sure we keep what you love.”
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.