Twitter officially doubles the character limit to 280 for all users


Twitter officially doubles the character limit to 280 for all users

After several weeks of Twitter users tweeting about how much they hate the idea of expanded character limits, Twitter has officially announced that it's doubling the previous 140-character limit for all users. When Twitter rolled out the larger character limit, it noticed a drop in the number of tweets running against the maximum count.

The other change was that instead of the characters counting down as users type out their tweets, they now see a circle that turns blue when they start typing.

"In September, we launched a test that expanded the 140 character limit so every person around the world could express themselves easily in a Tweet".

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 claims that its initial experiment showed that people who had more room to tweet received "more engagement" ie tweets, retweets and likes - something that's likely to be a draw for brands who use the platform natively.

"This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning tweets before sending", Ms Rosen said.

The 140-character limit was based on the limitations of short-message service technology, also known as SMS, which is used to send text messages.

Before the tests - which were limited to a few users, but easy to participate in thanks to third-party tools - roughly 9 per cent of tweets ran right up against the 140-character limit.

Of course, the change means America's highest-profile Twitter user, President Trump, will have more space. In a company blog post, Twitter Product Manager Aliza Rosen explained the new character limit would apply to all languages except for Japanese, Chinese and Korean, because those languages already allow their native speakers to convey roughly twice the amount of information in one character compared with many other languages, including English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Ever since Jack Dorsey sent out his first tweet in March 2006, Twitter (TWTR) has been synonymous with a pithy 140-character limit. We expect to see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week's launch and expect it to resume to normal behaviour soon after'.

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