Twitter to test 280-character tweets, doubling current limitation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2017
A select set of Twitter users are being freed from their 140-character shackles, at least temporarily, as the ubiquitous social network tests methods by which users can better express themselves while maintaining the brevity that popularized the platform.




Explained in a blog post on Tuesday, Twitter is doubling the upper tweet limit to 240 characters in a bid to better tailor the service for users who feel constrained by existing constraints.

Penned by Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen and senior software engineer Ikuhiro Ihara, the suggests nuances in the world's written languages played a significant role in Twitter's decision to launch the pilot program. Depending on their native tongue, some users are able to express their thoughts in much less than 140 characters, while others might find the limit too restrictive.

In essence, the change levels the playing field when it comes to logographic languages like Chinese, Korean and, with Kanji, Japanese. Those languages can relay a sentiment with a single character, something that might take multiple words in English or other languages that rely on Roman characters. Twitter calls this phenomenon "cramming."

"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)," Twitter says.

As proof, the company offered up a few tidbits of data, saying that only 0.4 percent of tweets sent in Japanese reach the current 140-character limit. On the other hand, some 9 percent of tweets posted in English hit the maximum. On average, most Japanese tweets are 15 characters in length compared to 34 for English. Further, research shows people who are not impacted by cramming tend to use Twitter more often.

Though it is testing longer tweets, Twitter stands by its commitment to brevity. The evaluation period is meant to gauge consumer interest and what impact, if any, access to longer tweets have on the service's popularity.

Twitter's new 240-character limit is rolling out now to random users in all languages except for Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The company did not specify how long the trial period will last, nor did it reveal an estimated sample set size.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    Low ratings!
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 2 of 20
    I know certain someone who will be thrilled with that advancement. 240 characters oh my, that's a billion dollar idea!
    HTML5 Icon
    viclauyyctallest skilE’Tallitnics
  • Reply 3 of 20
    sergioz said:
    I know certain someone who will be thrilled with that advancement. 240 characters oh my, that's a billion dollar idea!
    HTML5 Icon
    Where can I get that wonderful emoji?
    E’Tallitnics
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Innovation!
  • Reply 5 of 20
    anomeanome Posts: 1,291member
    Innovation!
    Courage!
  • Reply 6 of 20
    sergioz said:
    I know certain someone who will be thrilled with that advancement. 240 characters oh my, that's a billion dollar idea!
    HTML5 Icon
    Where can I get that wonderful emoji?
    here is a link
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 7 of 20
    Totally bypassing the point of Twitter. Wasn't it supposed to be short and sweet snippets and the limitations made you consider what you wrote?
    fotoformat
  • Reply 8 of 20
    anomeanome Posts: 1,291member
    evilution said:
    Totally bypassing the point of Twitter. Wasn't it supposed to be short and sweet snippets and the limitations made you consider what you wrote?

    Not really, it was meant to be no longer than a text message, since it started as an SMS platform. Then it expanded to the web, and caught the smartphone surge in 2007. So the limitation was imposed by the initial technology, and has remained mainly for nostalgia purposes.

    Of course, the enforced brevity meant that people did put a lot more thought into what they sent. Well, some of them did. And some people have made the limitation a virtue, but it's only been there for historical reasons (or hysterical raisins).

    edited September 2017 curtis hannah
  • Reply 9 of 20
    If you want to know what is actually going on in this world, Twitter is the platform to use, but it ain't perfect. It's now part of the Deep State and they do censor a lot of stuff. These days, just like Facebook, they want a picture of you AND your MOBILE number, to track you 24/7. BTW, if you try to open a new Twitter account and you use a Gmail address to confirm your subscription, you may have to wait forever checking your Gmail, to have your new Twitter account confirmed. Use a Yahoo email address and you're in seconds later. At least, that was my experience a year ago and I read about many other people with the same experience on the net. Google (Gmail) was doing everything it could to sabotage your efforts to sign up to Twitter.

    You might post something not kosher and think it has been accepted but if you use a different browser or different ip address through VPN, you see that your post (ghost post) is not actually visible to the outside world. 

    One way around this, so far, is to attach a jpg of the text that you want to write (e.g., a screenshot), with the often needed URLs, because many URLs that are not Cabal-approved, never show up on Twitter. Many URLs are a mile long, so I usually use a shorter bit.link URL and so far, so good. I just use politically correct text to introduce my JPG with the real message, and it goes through but the people who want to know my sources, i.e., links, have to copy manually from the JPEG image and this is why you want a short URL.
    fotoformat
  • Reply 10 of 20
    toysandme said:
    These days, just like Facebook, they want a picture of you AND your MOBILE number, to track you 24/7. BTW, if you try to open a new Twitter account and you use a Gmail address to confirm your subscription, you may have to wait forever checking your Gmail, to have your new Twitter account confirmed. Use a Yahoo email address and you're in seconds later.
    Ah, I hadn’t thought of that. Makes the suspension of my account be a bit more inconveniencing when creating a new one, doesn’t it? Still, there are cell phone spoofers and 10 minute e-mail services to bypass that.

    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 11 of 20
    Gee, just imagine how much useless stuff will Trump post with 280 characters!!!!!
  • Reply 12 of 20
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    evilution said:
    Totally bypassing the point of Twitter. Wasn't it supposed to be short and sweet snippets and the limitations made you consider what you wrote?
    Aside from what others have said... the problem is that:
    1) other stuff takes up the characters (URLs, @ name, # hashtags, etc.). They were supposed to exclude those (giving back 140 real characters) but I never really saw it go into effect.
    2) if they want Twitter to be interactive, 140 characters is a bit too short for even semi-serious points to be made w/o making it nearly unreadable or breaking things up into multiple tweets.

    It can be argued that no matter how long they made it, not everyone would be happy. But, I think the current limit is too short for most people who seriously use the platform.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    anome said:
    Innovation!
    Courage!
    Except Apple's courage to disrupt the status quo with compromise decisions is justifiably real. This is just doubling an imaginary limitation.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    Well Hell. At 280 characters I might as well just use email. 

    Thanks Obama!
    tallest skilSpamSandwich
  • Reply 15 of 20
    anomeanome Posts: 1,291member
    anome said:
    Innovation!
    Courage!
    Except Apple's courage to disrupt the status quo with compromise decisions is justifiably real. This is just doubling an imaginary limitation.

    True. My point was not to mock Apple so much as mock Twitter. And maybe take a slight, sideways dig at Eddy Cue Sorry. I meant Phil Schiller.

    edited September 2017
  • Reply 16 of 20
    ksecksec Posts: 1,566member
    I actually think it should be more like 360. The amount of information that could come from 140 Chinese Characters or 140 Japanese is more then 3 times of those in English of other Latin Script.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    I know there have been times that i had to go back and reformat my tweet as I was 4 characters over. Why is it always 4?
  • Reply 18 of 20
    They could’ve left the number of characters less, but they need to implement a way to edit posts. Like maybe limit edits to within 10 minutes after tweeting.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    They could’ve left the number of characters less, but they need to implement a way to edit posts. Like maybe limit edits to within 10 minutes after tweeting.
    I don’t think anyone would benefit from that covfefe
  • Reply 20 of 20
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    sans said:
    I know there have been times that i had to go back and reformat my tweet as I was 4 characters over. Why is it always 4?
    Yes, as a pretty active Twitter user, I often find that to be the case... you're over by 5-10 characters to get a coherent response out and then have to break up the tweets or start abbreviating, pulling a word and hoping it doesn't degrade the message, etc.

    And, as I said above, this is more a problem when using Twitter as social media (interacting with others) than it is when you're just pushing out a thought or a link to an article you've recently written. But, the former is really the point of social media, so the length should be determined by the average length needed to correspond, not some tech-spec (like SMS limits).

    While the brevity of Twitter is kind of cool, and 'it's thing'... being too brief isn't necessarily good communication.
    edited September 2017 tallest skil
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