Twitter makes 280-character tweets official, begins global rollout

Posted:
in General Discussion
Twitter on Tuesday brought a doubled 280-character limit on tweets out of limited testing, making the change official across most countries where the social network operates.




In announcing the move, Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen downplayed concerns about massive tweets cluttering feeds, noting that while about 9 percent of English tweets hit the 140-character limit, only 1 percent of tweets hit the expanded limit during testing. Instead, people simply posted faster because they didn't have to whittle down text, Rosen said.

Roughly 5 percent of posts were longer than 140 characters, and just 2 percent were over 190, she added. People who did have more room to write are said to have picked up extra likes, retweets, mentions, and followers, and spent on more time on Twitter.

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean tweets will continue to be limited to 140 characters because those languages are more expressive, Twitter said. A single character can often represent a complete thought.

Twitter has struggled to meaningfully grow its user base in the past couple of years, and has adopted a variety of tactics, including taking a tougher stance on harassment.

More recently the company has been implicated as a target for Russian influence during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently appeared on NBC to discuss the issue, saying that political ads were less significant than fabricated news stories. Apple curates its own news in the form of the Apple News app.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    Considering the importance of the vast majority of tweets, wouldn't 28 characters be more appropriate?
    christopher126dewmeviclauyycevilutionradarthekatcheesehead davejony0
  • Reply 2 of 12
    Wow. They still haven't added the two largest improvements needed: 1) eliminate the 'to:addressees' from total character count and 2) the ability to edit postings.  :/
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 12
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,381member
    I'm pretty happy about this change, as while 140 characters was novel, it was sometimes hard to have an actual conversation (***social*** media?) in such brief chunks. It wouldn't have even had to be 280 characters, as often just another few words would do it. Plus, they never really seemed to remove the characters taken up by URLs or @ mentions, etc.

    This still keeps it brief, but allows a bit less textual-gymnastics. Also, a bit of extra space at least opens up the possibility for more clarity or intention... which **might** help avoid unnecessary commotion.

    This doesn't solve Twitter's problems though. They really need a way to make some income without turning it into an even bigger mess. Heck, I'd pay some reasonable amount per month if it would help clean up some of the baloney (i.e.: real authenticated users, limit/kill the automation, etc.).
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 12
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,337member
    We have sufficient evidence that tweeters were fully capable of conveying their stupidity in 140 characters or less. Opening up the window of stupidity to 280 characters doesn't really change a thing.
    caliviclauyycradarthekatredgeminipa
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Maybe with the extra characters twits will start making complete sentences and use correct spelling...HA!
    jony0
  • Reply 6 of 12
    Twitter? Is that thing still around?
    baconstangSnickersMagoo
  • Reply 7 of 12
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Agree about the @ being counted as characters. That improvement would have solved the problems. 

    Doesn’t adding more characters make Twitter less...Special?
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 12
    Will Twitter be the next company after Facebook to tell you to upload your own porn? Maybe it’ll have to be ASCII art of it.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Rather than add more characters, what Twitter should really do is ban all politician. 

    We might see less”... ...”. But in the end, it is just more B.S. per twit. The world need more peace, mentally, than Twit. 
    redgeminipa
  • Reply 10 of 12
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,381member
    What's with all the Twitter hate? IMO, it's the best of the mainstream social media platforms. (Of course, that isn't saying too much.)

    cali said:
    Agree about the @ being counted as characters. That improvement would have solved the problems. 

    Doesn’t adding more characters make Twitter less...Special?
    I don't think so. I think if it got too big (as they were once talking) it would be. But, going from 140 to 280 isn't that big of a deal. It's still brief, but gives a bit more space so as to not have to be cryptic.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,375moderator

    After many years of waiting, finally, I can tweet out my favorite quote:

    Twitter's business plan, such that it is, has always been something along the lines of “Get big and popular, then just flip the switch and start making money when we feel like it”.  There is no switch. -- John Gruber, Daring Fireball

    tallest skil
  • Reply 12 of 12
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,119member
    Complaining about 280 character tweet limits is silly.    If you dislike posts from someone of any length stop following them. 
    cgWerks
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