Twitter has announced the increase of the character limit of its users to 280 – after users on the social media platform were previously limited to 140 characters.
The social media giant said it has started testing 280-character tweets, doubling the previous character limit, in an effort to help users be more expressive.
“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!”
“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,” the San Francisco-based company said on its blog on Tuesday.
The tweet limit of 140 characters, which has been in place since Twitter was launched in 2006, has led to “cramming” in most languages – meaning users had to leave out words to make their messages fit.
“140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet,” Twitter chief executive officer Jack Dorsey tweeted.
The tests will be conducted in all languages except Japanese, Chinese and Korean, because these languages can carry more meaning with fewer characters, Twitter explained.
Twitter hopes that with the higher character count means users won’t run into the character limit, which will make it easier to send tweets.
It is understood that the 140-character limit was originally established to reflect the length of SMS messages, which was how tweets were distributed prior to the development of mobile apps.
SMS messages are limited to 160 characters; Twitter reserved the remaining 20 for the username.
As often happens in creative mediums, the constraint spurred creativity, and Twitter became a fast-moving, newsy, jokey,weirdo playground.