Twitter has now doubled its character limit from 140 to 280 for all users – except those tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean – after first testing the expansion with select accounts in September.
The micro-blogging platform said its goal was to keep the “speed and brevity that makes Twitter” while also ensuring that “every person around the world could express themselves easily in a tweet”.
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Twitter said the global roll-out of the changes followed data from its earlier test of the expanded character limit that showed it had achieved both of these aims.
“During the first few days of the test many people tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behaviour normalised,” Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen said in a blog post announcing the changes.
“We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained.”
Twitter said that where historically 9 per cent of users hit the 140 character limit, that number dropped to 1 per cent with the expanded count.
The online platform said it believed this meant people were spending less time editing their tweets and that the added space made it “easier for people to fit thoughts in a tweet” and so send them faster.
In response to concerns that the expanded character count would fill up timelines with large messages, Twitter said test data showed that only 5 per cent of tweets under the new limit were longer than 140 characters and that just 2 per cent were over 190 characters.
Only those languages where “cramming” words has been an issue – including English – have received the new, expanded character limit.
Accounts tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean will retain the original 140-character limit because the “density of their writing systems” means they are able to say more with their tweets, said Twitter.
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