Welcome to a world with 280-character tweets

08 November, 2017, 00:19 | Author: Julian Harrison
  • Twitter is giving everyone longer tweets, but you probably won't use them

Twitter recently announced a test project allowing tweets to be expanded to 280 characters - double the existing limit.

Twitter's character limit was created so that tweets could fit into a single text message, back when many people were using texts to receive tweets.

When Twitter revealed it was testing out a larger character limit in September, many users grew concerned their feeds would clog with much longer tweets, including from the country's tweeter-in-chief.

For more information on the experimentation process, data analysis, research, and design work behind the expansion of the character limit, you can read the Twitter blog in full here.

Twitter's 140-character tweets have been a part of the site since it launched in 2006, helping the company to set itself apart from other social networks.

Before the tests - which were limited to a few users, but easy to participate in thanks to third-party tools - roughly 9 percent of tweets ran right up against the 140-character limit.




What do you think of Twitter's rollout of the 280 character limit for all? It is not yet clear how this method got past Twitter's automatic link shortening tools, but the tweet was treated just the same as if it were sending out a standard, reasonablysized URL.

"As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you'll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline". The change was made to give people more space to express themselves in certain languages where the company felt the 140 restriction was limiting.

"For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190 character Tweet", Rozen added. It was a temporary effect and didn't last long. Currently, the 280-character tweet facility is available to a small group of its 328 million users but the changes would soon be available for all users.

"Our goal was to make that possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter".

However, Twitter users - or, at least, a lot of them - did not sound off with the same level of enthusiasm when the news broke.

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