Twitter has increased their character limit and people are going crazy
Twitter has increased their character limit from 140 to 280, and it came into effect for all Twitter users in Britain within the last week.
While it can be argued that this is a good idea for those tweets that need those extra characters—just so you don’t make a grammar mistake and look stupid—some people are quite angry at the fact that Twitter has provided us with what we’ve been asking for.
Twitter’s destroyed its USP. The whole point, for me, was how inventive people could be within that concise framework. #Twitter280characters
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 8, 2017
Back in September, Twitter ran a Beta version of the character limit which allowed chosen users to tweet up to 280 characters in order to see how this would work on the platform.
Twitter has released an official statement about this change, saying that “during the first few days of the test many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behaviour normalized.”
I feel like the 280 char thing would have been much cooler if they randomly chose different people to have it each month #280characters
— Jack Holliday (@JHollid) November 8, 2017
This change is now allowing users to express themselves through Twitter.
People who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (likes, retweets, mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter. People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall.
There’s a definite increase in the number of longer tweets on timelines, and it can be argued that they take away from what Twitter actually is, which is a website that provides information that takes less than 10 seconds to decode.
Reaching the 280 character count is like trying to reach the word count in an essay. You need an intro, body, and conclusion. It forces you to really stretch out what you're saying, and even repeat things multiple times like when you're trying to reach the word count in an essay.
— Student Problems (@FactsOfSchool) November 8, 2017
For those users who like their profiles to look clean and professional, there will no longer be a need to carry a tweet onto a second one with the use of “1/2”, “2/2” in order to make their point clear.
in the era of 280 characters I think it is time for people to start punctuating and capitalising properly because every time i see a block of text like this my eyes skate over it like tonya harding over the cold bones of nancy kerrigan no pressure but srsly
— John Allison (@badmachinery) November 9, 2017
Interestingly, the rise in character limit is only happening with the English Twitter. Research shows that 9% of tweets in English reached the character limit, meaning that users had to spend more time on that particular tweet, trying to edit it or split it into parts, and social media is meant to be easy and quick to use. This number then dropped to 1% of users hitting the character limit once the increase happened.
“Japanese, Korean, and Chinese [Twitter] will continue to have 140 characters because cramming is not an issue in these languages. In fact, these languages have always been able to say more with their Tweets because of the density of their writing systems.”
So while our timelines will look like book extracts for a while, Twitter is expecting this to die down quite soon; their specialists say that people will soon stick to shorter tweets and only use the increased limits for those little grammar and punctuation errors.
— Steve Mott (@SidMott) November 9, 2017