Gird Your Loins: Twitter Is Giving Everyone 280 Characters

Gwen Vasquez
November 8, 2017

The social media company says this is because they see a small percentage of tweets posted using the full 140 characters in certain languages.

Twitter Inc. is ending its 140-character limit - and giving almost everyone 280 characters.

According to Twitter, fears that a 280 character limit would ruin the brevity of Twitter are unfounded.

Following an age of blogging, when lengthy rants or emo contemplation lit up the likes of LiveJournal or Xanga, the move to bite-sized thoughts felt different.

Twitter is expanding, literally.

"In addition to more Tweeting, people who had more room to Tweet received more engagement [likes, retweets and '@' mentions], got more followers and spent more time on Twitter", said Ms Rosen.

The length is twice as long as Twitter's current 140-character limit. It's somehow too long to be brief, and still too brief to be meaningful. Since we saw Tweets hit the character limit less often, we believe people spent less time editing their Tweets in the composer.

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The increased character limit will happen for users in all languages except for Japanese, Korean and Chinese. This graph is for English-only Tweets.

The tests also didn't seem to bear out the dystopian predictions that Twitter would be flooded with longer messages and lose the economy of language that's become its hallmark.

"We - and many of you - were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280-character tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space".

Twitter.com now supports 280 characters and now a circle progress indicator shows how many characters remain, but it will turn into a number when 20 characters remain. On that front, we don't have answers yet.

Increasing the character limit should not affect people's experience on the site, she added.

The reason this is important for Twitter is that by giving users a little bit more space to talk, they spend less time trying to condense their thoughts, and more time just, well, talking. Twitter cofounder Biz Stone had said the prolific Twitter user was not in the test group. And, in the end, that's really what matters to Twitter.

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