The 140-character limit is Twitter’s defining feature and also its most controversial. Critics say that it makes the service confining and unfriendly to new users. Defenders say that enforced brevity is what makes the service so useful.
For the first time in history, twitter is now changing its character limit.
The service announced on Tuesday it is doubling its character count for tweets — from 140 characters to 280 characters — for some of its users. The test group will include those who tweet in certain languages, including English, Spanish and Portuguese.
The cofounder and CEO Jack Dorsey has hinted at expanding the character limit before. Earlier this year, Twitter removed user handles — a person’s Twitter name preceded by the @ sign — from replies to tweets, instead linking them in text above the tweet.
The site says it hopes people will embrace the change. But considering the move strays from its core design, it’s likely to cause some backlash CNN Reports.
According to their blog, 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.
Their 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, they see more people Tweeting – which is awesome!
Twitter is about brevity. It’s what makes it such a great way to see what’s happening. Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter. That is something the platform says they’ll never change.
The increase is “only available to a small group right now,” Twitter says. The company is going to evaluate the results from this trial before deciding whether to expand the character limit for all Twitter users.