It’s Official: Twitter Ups Character Limit to 280

Posted on November 7, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Social with 10 Comments

It's Official: Twitter Ups Character Limit to 280

After a short test with select users, Twitter has decided to double the length of tweets from 140 characters to 280 characters.

“We are making this change after listening and observing a problem our global community was having, studying data to understand how we could improve, trying it out, and listening to your feedback,” Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen explains. “We’ll continue listening and working to make Twitter easier for everyone while making sure we keep what you love.”

While I was originally very unhappy with the 140 character limit on Twitter—I tend to overwrite, if anything—I quickly adapted. And now, I really appreciate the beauty of brevity. So I’m curious to see whether doubling the tweet character limit will change the service fundamentally.

Twitter says it will not.

“We—and many of you—were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character Tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space,” Rosen says. “But that didn’t happen [during the test]. Only 5 percent of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2 percent were over 190 characters. As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, [and] you’ll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline.”

So, we’ll see how it goes.

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Comments (10)

10 responses to “It’s Official: Twitter Ups Character Limit to 280”

  1. Avatar

    GrifterX

    I'm curious if this will distract from what Twitter was originally intended. Ironically, I'm not able to send any Tweets above 140 char. from my Windows 10 Twitter app. :(

  2. Avatar

    lezmaka

    I wonder how many of those testers actually knew they were able to send more than 140 characters? Did they just increase it and not tell the people they picked to test it? If so, of course it was hardly used because they didn't know about it.

    • Avatar

      IanYates82

      In reply to lezmaka:

      And the stats sound vague... The 1% of tweets sent - was that 1% of tweets from people were in the 280-char club, or was this 1% of overall tweets? The latter is meaningless without knowing how big the pool of testers was.


      Personally I think it'll be a good change. A bit of nuance, grammar and so on tended to need an extra 10-20 chars in practice. Sure, I could squeeze down a tweet by cutting some words, picking shorter ones, etc, but I hate compromising on grammar if I can get away with it :)

  3. Avatar

    gregsedwards

    I'm so excited to finally be able to tweet that slightly longer sentence that I've been wanting to share.

  4. Avatar

    skane2600

    I have lost interest in twitter since they have made it clear that the same rules don't apply to everyone.

  5. Avatar

    James Wilson

    What's weird is that the Twitter app on my Android phone looks pretty horrible (white background, logos all wrong etc) but on my Windows 10 mobile - it looks really good (dark mode, images all line up, nice font etc).

  6. Avatar

    Stooks

    Here is the headline I want to read...


    "It’s Official: Twitter closes its doors after no one wants to buy it."


  7. Avatar

    MightyGorath

    This will be of huge benefit to US foreign policy.

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