Twitter testing new 280-character limit
Twitter has announced it is trialling a new 280-character tweet limit in a bid to help social media users “easily express themselves”.
The new character count – double the existing 140 limit – is currently being tested by a small group of users selected by Twitter.
In a blog post, Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen announced the longer character limit is being tested in all languages except Chinese, Korean and Japanese, which she says can convey more information in a single character.
She said: “Trying to cram your thoughts into a Tweet – we’ve all been there, and it’s a pain.
“Sometimes, I have to remove a word that conveys an important meaning or emotion, or I don’t send my Tweet at all.”
Will this change compromise Twitter's USP?
Many users argue that Twitter’s strongest asset is its brevity, but Rosen argued the character extension won’t affect this: “Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter,” she said. “That is something we will never change.”
Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, was one of the first to trial the new character limit, but the proposed change has received criticism, many users contest the app's main appeal is its ability to quickly and concisely convey/digest information.
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
While there is currently no indication of when – if at all – the character extension will be rolled out to all Twitter users, Rosen said the social media company is “excited to share this today,” and that “we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next”.
This would arguably be the biggest change to Twitter’s interface since photos and links stopped contributing towards character counts in May 2016.
According to a report from Hootsuite, Twitter is currently the 10th most popular social media platform in the world, with 328 million global active monthly users – some way behind rivals Instagram (700 million) and Facebook (2.7 billion).
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