The Twitter character limit just went from 140 to 280 in a global test to alleviate cramming, as only 9 percent of tweets are exactly 140 characters long…
The somewhat infamous Twitter character limit is changing. A small group will now enjoy double the count, raising the limit from 140 to 280, the microblog announced on its official blog.
“We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters.”
Twitter Doubling its Tweet Character Limit in Global Test
Twitter states there are two primary reasons for the change. Firstly, it’s established 140 character limit is 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. (As the tweet below by CEO Jack Dorsey explains.)
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
The second reason for the increase is due to what the social network calls “cramming.” Basically, many other languages need a lot more space to accommodate what users are expressing. Only Japanese, Chinese, and Korean are exceptions.
Can’t fit your Tweet into 140 characters? 🤔
We’re trying something new with a small group, and increasing the character limit to 280! Excited about the possibilities? Read our blog to find out how it all adds up. 👇https://t.co/C6hjsB9nbL
— Twitter (@Twitter) September 26, 2017
“We see that a small percent of Tweets sent in Japanese have 140 characters (only 0.4%). But in English, a much higher percentage of Tweets have 140 characters (9%). Most Japanese Tweets are 15 characters while most English Tweets are 34. Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese. Also, in all markets, 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!”
Like always, a counter resides in the corner. It’s unknown at this time when this change will take effect worldwide.