Twitter, as a test for select number of people, has doubled the character limit on tweets. Users in different parts of the world are now seeing 280 character limit for tweets instead of 140.
“This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160-character SMS limit,” said Jack Dorsey, while announcing the update.
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 decision was made after the research carried out by the social network revealed that you can convey double the information per character in languages like Korean, Japanese and Chinese than you can in languages like English, French or Spanish
“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese,” wrote Twitter product manager, Aliza Rosen her blogpost.
The team also found out that only 0.4% of tweets sent in Japanese hit the 140-character limit, while a much higher percentage of tweets in English (9%) hit the limit.
Rosen acknowledged that “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,” she wrote.
The announcement received a mix response from Twitter users, with some arguing that the company should have introduced an editing tool or prioritized a crack down on white nationalists using the platform.
This tweet uses exactly 280 characters because I thought you might like to see how long that is. It's kind of ridiculous isn't it? Why would anybody need to use this much space on a tweet? This feels like an entire column. Twitter will take a lot longer to get caught up on. SAD!!
— Kevin Shockey (@KevinShockey) September 26, 2017
The 280-character limit is a terrible idea. The whole beauty of Twitter is that it forces you to express your ideas concisely (1/47)
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) September 26, 2017
Edit has 4 characters. Can we start there instead?
— Ian Petchenik (@petchmo) September 26, 2017
Good idea, but you know how you could really improve Twitter? Get rid of all these freaking Nazis.
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) September 26, 2017
What tweets will look like with the 280 character limit pic.twitter.com/g2EopSXTle
— Darth Vader (@DepressedDarth) September 26, 2017
literally my only talent was being able to think of tweets exactly 140 characters long. i don't know if I will be able to alter this to 280.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) September 26, 2017
twitter: what do you guys want
everyone: get rid of the nazis and fix the report system
twitter: did I hear 280 characters
— Goth Ms. Frizzle (@spookperson) September 26, 2017
The new change is being tested out with a small subset of 328 million users before deciding whether to launch it to everyone.
What do you think about the 280 character limit?