Twitter has recently announced that they will be testing a new character limit per tweet. The company is allowing a small percentage of users to use 280 characters per tweet – twice the amount as right now. Following the testing group, Twitter will then decide whether or not they will be increasing character length for all Twitter users.
In a recent blog post, Twitter explained why they have decided to potentially increase the length of a tweet.
“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!”
Only a small percentage of Twitter users use exactly 140 characters – 4 percent. Some believe it is most likely due to users having to edit their tweets after going over the 140 character limit. By doubling the character limit, Twitter feels that it will ease the burden. However, some languages that are not impacted by having to cram characters are excluded from the character length. Such languages include Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
There was reasons as to why Twitter chose the initial 140 characters. The original limit was due to the fact that SMS messages are limited to 160 characters. The remaining difference of 20 was used for the Twitter user’s username.
While some have responded positively toward the increase of characters per tweet, not everyone was enthusiastic. Many took to Twitter to demonstrate what could go wrong. Some users are worried that others will abuse the 280 character limit and that it won’t necessarily double the quality.
As one could imagine, a number of tweets rolled out with fear of what would happen if Trump has access to 280 characters. Thankfully, he is not part of the testing group.
Whether or not Twitter will actually double the character limit for all users is uncertain at this point. It won’t be until the testing phase is over that we’ll have an answer to that question.
What are your thoughts on the expansion of characters? Do you think it is beneficial for users or do you think it will cause more problems than anything?