Twitter Unveils New 280-Character Count Feature

Twitter new character countFor the first time since the company’s inception, Twitter is testing a new character limit of 280 characters, doubling its current character limitations.

The feature has been released to a randomized group of Twitter users as a test before the company decides on full implementation. However, developers have already created a workaround bookmark that can be utilized on web browsers.

Twitter’s Reasoning

Back in 2006, the 140-character limit was established to emulate the SMS character limits, since prior to smartphones tweets had to be sent to your account via this method, if not through a desktop computer.
Twitter says the new 280-character limit is designed to grow the social network by alleviating the public’s frustration with trying to “cram” their thoughts into such a tight constraint. Twitter bloggers, Aliza Rosen and Ikuhiro Ihara, pointed out that:

“When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people tweeting.”

Twitter also pointed out on their blog that other languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean can convey double the information because of how much information that can be presented in just one character. With this longer limit in place, all languages would have less of an issue communicating via the platform, with users no longer having to jam their messages into such a small, 140-character framework.


Twitter’s language research is shown in the graph above, which emphasizes the disparity in the character count threshold across languages.

Will It Be Implemented?

This is not the first time that Twitter has considered changing its character limitations. Back in 2015, Twitter considered expanding the tweet format character limit to 10,000 to be more congruent with the style of Facebook’s timeline features. However, they ultimately decided that it would stray too far from Twitter’s original platform model.

Along these lines, some news outlets like Vice are questioning the potential success of the new 280-character feature, saying that the “beautiful brevity” of Twitter is its bread and butter, and a full implementation might lead to the downfall of the platform.

Do you think the feature will be a success and that Twitter will expand the character count for all users? Let us know in the comments!

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