Twitter to expand 280-character tweets


San Francisco-based Twitter said the new system, a major shift for the messaging platform known for its 140-character tweets, aims to address "a major cause of frustration" for many users.

"Looking at all the data, we're excited to share we've achieved this goal and are rolling the change out to all languages where cramming was an issue".

One of the USPs of the service was the brevity that it enforced on users.

The announcement comes just a few months after Twitter started testing a 280-character limit for a set number of users around the globe, courting concern from users who were anxious that banishing brevity would clog up their timelines. However, in a blog post published on Tuesday (7 November) the company was quick to assuage its community, saying that only 5% of tweets sent by users selected for testing were longer than 140 characters and that just 2% were over 190 characters.

Naturally, Twitter was quick to remove the tweet (though an archived version remains for the curious), fix the bug and temporarily ban both users. Twitter recently announced a test project allowing tweets to be expanded to 280 characters - double the existing limit.

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Say goodbye to 140 characters and the countdown that used to appear next to your working tweets, it's all about 280 characters and a slowly filling circle now. When it expanded the limit to 280, only 1 percent of tweets had this issue. This means people probably spent time editing down their tweets or not sending them out at all.

Users tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean will still have the original limit.

"We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they tweeted more easily and more often". Those languages can convey twice as much information in less space, so tweets will remain at 140 characters, Twitter said.

The change is part of Twitter's plan to attract new users and increase growth. Currently, the 280-character tweet facility is available to a small group of its 328 million users but the changes would soon be available for all users.