Twitter Users Promised Longer Tweets With 280-Character Limit, See Full Details Follows…
Social media site Twitter is experimenting with doubling its 140 character limit on tweets to allow its users “easily express themselves” and convey more meaning or emotion.
On Tuesday, September 28, Twitter announced that it would begin a test with a random sample of users allowing them to send tweets that are as long as 280 characters in most languages around the world.
Though the company did not say how many people would be included in the test, it, however, disclosed that the feature is only available to a select few at the moment, and is not available in Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Explaining the decision in a blog post, Twitter said:
“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, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean).
“Although we feel confident about our data and the positive impact this change will have, we want to try it out with a small group of people before we make a decision to launch to everyone.”
Twitter said that longer tweets were much more popular among those writing in English, as opposed to Japanese, citing data that only .4 percent of tweets written in Japanese were 140 characters, as compared with 9 percent written in English.
“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,” the company said.
In the post, Twitter’s project manager Aliza Rosen and senior software engineer Ikuhiro Ihara said “Trying to cram your thoughts into a Tweet – we’ve all been there, and it’s a pain.”
She acknowledged that some people have an “emotional attachment” to 140 characters – “we felt it, too” – but that when the team tried it they “fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint”.
This move by the company which is experiencing growth problems is believed will help widen its appeal and attract new users.
The change comes at a time Twitter is looking to compete with social media giants like Facebook and Instagram — the former with 2 billion monthly active users and the latter with 700 million.
As expected, the announcement polarized Twitter users, with some arguing that the company should have prioritized an editing tool or a clampdown on bullies, trolls and robots that spread misinformation on the platform.
In January 2016, there were reports that Twitter was running internal tests for longer tweets and considering a limit as high as 10,000 characters.
Though Twitter is ubiquitous in media because of frequent use by U.S. President Donald Trump and many celebrities, the company has struggled financially. For the second quarter, it reported a loss of $116 million and zero growth in the number of users, at 328 million people as against Facebook’s 2 billion users.
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