Tech | 1 week ago
Everyone (well, nearly everyone) on Twitter will be able to use 280 characters in tweets from now on
Expect to see a lot of longer tweets from now on.

Good move?

Having only been rolled out to a privileged few when the initial experiment was launched in September, Twitter has now decided to let (nearly) all users avail of an extended 280 character limit in tweets, double the original character limit.

Initially, the experiment was launched, Twitter claimed, because it is easier to express oneself in fewer characters in certain languages than it is in others (Japanese compared to English, for example) and so, the new limit was initially available on a trial basis to languages “impacted by cramming” (all but Japanese, Chinese and Korean).

Two months’ later, Twitter has decided that everyone can use 280 characters in tweets, but in response to inevitable criticism about longer tweets relieving Twitter of the brevity it once prided itself on, the company reckons that the changes to users’ timelines won’t be that significant.

Only 5% of tweets posted since the experiment was introduced, for example, were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters; whether those statistics will hold up from now on remains to be seen.

“In September, we launched that expanded the 140 character limit so that every person around the world could express themselves easily in a Tweet,” a Twitter blog post confirming the expansion of the character limit read.

“Our goal was to make that possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter. Looking at all the data, we’re excited to share we’ve achieved this goal and are rolling this change out to all languages where cramming was an issue.*

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*Japanese, Korean, and Chinese will continue to have 140 characters because cramming is not an issue in these languages.

For more information on the experimentation process, data analysis, research, and design work behind the expansion of the character limit, you can read the Twitter blog in full here.

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