Yes, you read that correctly. Twitter’s increasing the character limit of tweets from 140 to 280. The change was announced in a tweet by the company posted September 26 that read “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.”
Twitter explained further in a blog post the reasoning behing the change stating “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).”
While Twitter’s data shows that this move will be positive, the company is rightfully concerned that this change will have a less than positive reception. As with other recent updates made by Twitter, this change is only being testing with a handful of users. Twitter further explained in their blog post:
“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. What matters most is that this works for our community – we will be collecting data and gathering feedback along the way. We’re hoping fewer Tweets run into the character limit, which should make it easier for everyone to Tweet.
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 we will never change.
We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.”
Jack Dorsey, CEO and co-founder of Twitter, heralded the increased character limit as “a small change, but a big move”. According to Dorsey, the 140 characters “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!” His full Tweet (in the all new 280-character fashion) reads:
How do you feel about the fact that Twitter’s increasing the character limit of tweets? Are you longing for the good old days of 140-characters or welcoming in this new 280-character era? Let us know in the comments below!