Twitter Rolls Out 280-Character Tweets Worldwide

Sean Emmett November 08, 2017
Twitter Rolls Out 280-Character Tweets Worldwide

Twitter Inc. has announced that users can now send tweets with as many as 280 characters, double the current limit of 140, worldwide.

The microblogging website, known for its iconic 140-character tweets, said on Tuesday it would roll out 280-character tweets to users across the world, the latest attempt by the social media company to revive anemic user growth.

The roll-out includes all languages except Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Twitter said those Asian languages can convey about double the amount of information in one character compared with many other languages.

The company started testing the longer tweet limit with a small group of users in September. Twitter found that people with the expanded character limit spent less time editing their tweets. The company added that those people also got more followers, spent more time on the platform and interacted more with other users on the service.

Twitter said the expanded character limit would allow for easier expression while keeping the brevity for which the service is known.

With the previous limit in place, 9 percent of tweets hit 140 characters. But during the test of expanded tweets, only 1 percent of tweets hit 280 characters.

“More space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before,” the company said in a blog post.

The 140-character limit is an artifact of a previous technological era. That was the maximum that could fit in mobile text messages when the service started in 2006, before the mass adoption of smartphones.

Now with more advanced devices, there’s no technical limit on the size of tweets. Some Twitterati think brevity is the soul of the service and worry the longer form will ruin what’s special about it. However, many of Twitter’s 330 million monthly active users were already getting around the limit by linking to longer pieces, taking screenshots of full stories, and sending streams of tweets called tweetstorms to complete thoughts.

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Sean Emmett


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