Twitter has picked a number of users to test the doubling of its characters from 140 tweets to 280 tweets.
“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, 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.
We expected (and ❤️!) all the snark & critique for #280characters. Comes with the job. What matters now is we clearly show why this change is important, and prove to you all it’s better. Give us some time to learn and confirm (or challenge!) our ideas. https://t.co/qJrzzIluMw
— jack (@jack) September 27, 2017
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.
The company’s research showed that only 0.4 per cent of all tweets in Japanese reach 140 characters.
The average length of a tweet in Japanese is 15 characters compared to 34 characters for the average English tweet.
But about nine per cent of all English tweets using all 140 characters frustrate users, Twitter said.
Right now the 280-character feature is only available to a small group, and the company did not say in the blog entry when all users will be able to use it.
Twitter users were not happy with the introduction of the new 280 characters. Here are some feedbacks from users across the globe.
I do not support #280characters. Twitter had excelled in teaching Kenyans summary writing. Now they may write up to 440 pages of nothing.
— Nelson Havi (@NelsonHavi) September 27, 2017
It's the year 2140, Twitter has just introduced new 5600 characters limit. The remaining 2 twitter users are not happy.. #280characters
— Freemporium (@freemporium) September 27, 2017
Nobody needs #280characters. Anyone with any intelligence who has anything useful to say can easily fit it into 140 characters. This is for
— Mark Enser (@EnserMark) September 27, 2017
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 27, 2017