Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Tweet longer: Twitter officially moves to a 280 character limit

Screengrab via Timrasett  Internet Archive Screengrab via Timrasett Internet Archive
Garry Little | 08 November, 2017, 00:38

Many people had pointed out that 280 characters, despite what chief executive Jack Dorsey said in his own longer tweet announcing the change, just doesn't lend itself to the same focus.

Twitter added: "Looking at all the data, we're excited to share we've achieved this goal and are rolling the change out to all languages where cramming was an issue".

Twitter users also expressed concerns the higher count goes against the spirit of the service and its 140-character concept. But if they needed those extra few characters, they "Tweeted more easily and more often", according to Twitter, which can apparently read users minds and determine when they are at ease.

Twitter claims that the changes are a good thing (because of course they're a good thing), because "only" 5% of tweets with the 280 character limit exceeded 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters.

Users have already employed clever tactics to stretch beyond 140 characters, such as screenshots of longer messages or tweetstorms, a series of connected tweets.

When Twitter revealed it was testing out a larger character limit in September, many users grew concerned their feeds would clog with much longer tweets, including from the country's tweeter-in-chief. Most tweets still hover around 50 characters.

The increased character limit will happen for users in all languages except for Japanese, Korean and Chinese. So in other words, although more characters were available, people still kept tweets in English short and sweet.

Now the San Francisco tech firm is officially doubling the character limit of its tweets to 280 characters. This shows that more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before. Twitter found that people with the expanded character limit spent less time editing their tweets. "We'll definitely see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week's launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after".

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