Twitter now lets you tweet 280-character updates

  • Twitter now lets you tweet 280-character updates

Twitter now lets you tweet 280-character updates

"Brevity is what shaped Twitter's content style, and while the extra characters may change some aspects", he said, "it will make the service a bit easier to read and engage with". This change in the app was given to specific users to test how it would go over among English-speaking users and Twitter must have decided it went over well because on Tuesday it announced the change would be rolling out to all users. Regardless, that's precisely what two German Twitter users did recently.

About 9% of tweets bump up against the 140 character limit, but of course, that doesn't include all the tweets that are never sent because people can't say what they want. Twitter first began testing the increased limit back in September, which came with a lot of criticism from users.

The users in question - Timrasett and HackneyYT - reportedly worked together to find an exploit that allowed them to send out 35,000 characters of nonsensical letters and numbers, effectively shattering Twitter's existing character limits.

The 140-character length wasn't a random choice: Twitter's founders wanted tweets to fit in a text message, which can only hold 160 characters.

In addition to more Tweeting, people who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter. That's all well and good, but what's the damn point of expanding the character limit if only 5% of tweets are taking advantage of it?

Users tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean will still have the original limit.

Twitter has never been a particularly convenient place to hold lengthy conversations, primarily a result of the platform's 140-character tweet limit.

The character change could also help spur user growth, an important issue for investors wanting Twitter to follow the trajectory of social media giants such as Facebook and Instagram. People did silly (creative!) things like writing just a few characters per line to make their Tweets extra large. "We expect to see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week's launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after", the company says.