February 27, 2021
Twitter 280 character limit

Twitter Explains what’s Happened After it Expanded the Tweet Character Limit to 280

The Twitter 280 character limit, expanded about a year ago, has resulted in a friendlier experience and fewer abbreviations, according to the microblog…

Last year, Twitter doubled its tweet character limit from 140 to 280. At the time, Twitter stated there were two primary reasons for the change.

Firstly, the old 140 character limit was based on older technology. SMS or text messages are limited to 160 characters. So, the microblog arbitrarily decided it would limit tweets to 140 characters. 

The second reason for the increase was due to what the social network called “cramming.” Basically, many other languages need a lot more space to accommodate what users are expressing. (Only Japanese, Chinese, and Korean were exceptions.)

Twitter 280 Character Limit Results in More Polite Tweets, Fewer Abbreviations

With the tweet character expansion, came a welcome change in user behavior. People are actually more polite and use fewer abbreviations, as well:

“54% more messages say ,please, and 22% more use ,thank you, since the character limit doubled.

There’s a decline of abbreviations like ‘gr8’ (-36%), ‘b4’ (-13%), and ‘sry’ (-5%) in favor of the full words — ‘great’ (+32%), ‘before’ (+70%), and ‘sorry’ (+31%).”

Additionally, the increase has resulted in more interactions on the platform:

“30% more tweets include a question mark, and there are more replies to tweets.”

Ironically, just a small percentage of Twitter users take advantage of those extra allowable characters. For example, only 12 percent exceed 140 characters and just 1 percent hit the 280 mark. By comparison, 9 percent reach the old limit of 140 characters.

Earlier this month, Twitter made it possible to tweet out 140 emoji at once. The microblog also introduced Threads last year, an option for posting tweetstorms.

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search and like news. History buff, movie and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband. Owen is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.          

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