The company is now allowing users to tweet up to 280 characters, instead of 140. The move is the struggling social network's latest attempt at encouraging people to post more by removing arbitrary text limits (the 140 came from SMS character limitations no longer relevant in the smartphone age). Some Twitterati think brevity is the soul of the service and worry the longer form will ruin what's special about it.
The new 280 character limit is already hitting the official app, web interface, and Tweetdeck for users in most countries. During its trial run the company said that "only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters, and only 2% were over 190 characters", which would suggest that people want more room to tweet but not that much more. Twitter first began testing the increased limit back in September, which came with a lot of criticism from users. In English, nine percent of tweets generally hit the character limit, said Twitter. Most tweets still hover around 50 characters.
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Twitter also is touting the fact that people who had an expanded character limit received better engagement numbers (though notice their phrasing makes no specific references to the longer tweets themselves).
Now the San Francisco tech firm is officially doubling the character limit of its tweets to 280 characters.
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Users tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean will still have the original limit. Currently, the 280-character tweet facility is available to a small group of its 328 million users but the changes would soon be available for all users. People end up spending more time editing tweets or don't send them out at all. The change is rolling out "over the next few hours", a Twitter spokesperson told International Business Times Tuesday afternoon.
It's worth emphasizing again that people in the test got very excited about the extra space in the beginning and many Tweets went way beyond 140.
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"People did silly and creative things like writing just a few characters per line to make their Tweets extra large".