Here is what 140 (left) and 280 (right) character Tweets look like in a timeline.
Twitter has historically been different from other social platforms because of the brevity of its content and posts, and the changing character limit could frustrate long-time and heavy users of the platform who have become accustomed to catering tweets to the 140 character limit.
When can you start sharing longer tweets?
The decision to test the new character limit came after studying tweets in languages like Japanese that require fewer words to convey the same amount of information as languages like English and Spanish, Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen said in a company blog post.
Most Japanese tweets are 15 characters while most English tweets are 34. They acknowledged that some people on Twitter have strong emotional attachment to the current limit.
So in the interest of making it easier for everyone to use Twitter, the company is testing out the aforementioned 280-character limit to a small group of people. Now, the social network is finally giving into popular demand and doubling its character limit to 280 characters. "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", he tweeted.
"Not to sound like a nostalgist, but from a user standpoint, I think this is another change for the worse", said Rick Edmonds, media business analyst at Poynter.
280 characters is certainly a big leap from 140 - it's twice the number, after all - but it's much less than the 10,000 character limit that was rumored previous year. Such a significant change may indicate Twitter will begin to take a more aggressive approach to attract new users and boost engagement. After that, we'll know whether we all get to enable Twitter's280 characters limit or not. Of course, not every user of Twitter is also TweetDeck user. "Most Japanese tweets are 15 characters while most English tweets are 34". Knowing this fact, a lot of hassle has been created among the users who are also willing to try out the new 280 characters feature.
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This suggests that users likely feel that they must edit their commentary or thoughts down in order to get their message across. Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen wrote, "Trying to cram your thoughts into a Tweet - we've all been there, and it's a pain".
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