Twitter has stunned everybody with an unexpected move by increasing the character limit to 280, doubling the previous character limit, in an effort to help users be more expressive.
Twitter said today in its blog post, “Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English. When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting — which is awesome!”
The blog post added, “We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters — we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.”
The 140-character limit was originally established to reflect the length of SMS messages; that was how tweets were distributed in early days. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters; Twitter reserved the remaining 20 for the username.
Doubling the Character Limit
Twitter said that about 9% of all tweets made today were of 140 character length. Users have to edit their initial thoughts to get them under the limit; sometimes compromising with spelling and grammar. Now Twitter is all set to curb the issue, what twitter calls “languages impacted by cramming” by expanding the word limit which includes all languages except for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
The main reason behind excluding these languages lies in the fact that all these languages offer more thoughts in fewer characters when compared to other languages. Twitter says, “The average length of a tweet in Japanese is 15 characters, and only 0.4 percent of tweets hit the 140-character limit.”
Here’s what the Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had to say about this new change:
The New Feature Shall Be Available Soon
Most Twitter applications should already be able to show longer tweets, thanks to changes that the company introduced to its API last year. You’ll know you have expanded tweets if the character counter at the bottom right-hand corner of the composer looks like a circle. It will count down from 280 until you run out of room.