If brevity were the soul of Twitter, then it’s time for a soul refresh – Twitter is testing a 280-character limit for its tweets, twice as much as what is allowed now. A few users have been granted this enhanced limit, with possibly some more to get this access soon, before a wider rollout.
The move is apparently to help users be more expressive. A blog post by Twitter reads thus: “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 140-character limit was originally established in line with the 160-character limit for SMSs, with the balance 20 characters reserved for the Twitter handle.
Of course, this brought forth some interesting reactions from regular tweeters, with concerns including how a tweet would remain different from a Facebook post now. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted this about the change:
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
And this was one of the reactions:
139 characters pic.twitter.com/WkfdXL8oLh
— Caitlin Kelly (@caitlin__kelly) September 26, 2017
What do you think? Tweet about it, but keep it brief . . . or not!