Twitter is contemplating on a life-altering decision: to double or not to double its 140-character limit for tweets. Taking to their blog, Twitter posted an announcement saying that they’re testing out 280-character tweets. The move, Twitter says, is predicated on an effort to help their users be more expressive.
Here’s a snippet from the post in question:
“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!”
This didn’t come out of the blue. Twitter has been trying to expand the limit for years now. In 2015, the company toyed with the idea of massive, 10,000-character limit for tweets, but ultimately decided that a change this radical would not only confuse the product but also the audience. The change threatened to disrupt Twitter’s real-time and of-the-moment nature, a thing that users seem protective of. Just last year, Twitter rolled out an optional ranked timeline that showed the “best tweets” first. Later that year, the company expanded tweets by discounting media attachments against the character limit.
Twitter is also backing up the move with numbers. 9% of tweets sent worldwide have exactly 140 characters. If you’ve crammed your tweets before as I’m sure you already have, you know how many grammar crimes you’ve sold yourselves to just to keep your tweets at exactly or sub-140 characters.
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 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. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
The new 280-character limit is currently being tested with a “small group of people” before Twitter finally hits the red button and deploy the update. Twitter seems pretty positive about the change, too. “We’re hoping fewer Tweets run into the character limit, which should make it easier for everyone to Tweet.”
What do you guys think? What does this mean for avid tweeters and, you know, Trump?