Twitter 280 - Is This Goodbye To The 140 Character Limit?

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Twitter announced Tuesday that it is expanding beyond its 140-character limit. The social network says it will now try out a longer limit of 280 characters in select languages, including English, in order to allow people to share their expanded thoughts without running out of room to tweet.

The feature will initially be made available to a select group of users, as the expansion is considered more of a test than a large, public roll-out.

Aliza Rosen, Product Manager, Twitter, had this to say:

"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, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean).


Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this. Here are some of our findings:

We see that a small percent of Tweets sent in Japanese have 140 characters (only 0.4%). But in English, a much higher percentage of Tweets have 140 characters (9%). Most Japanese Tweets are 15 characters while most English Tweets are 34. Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese. Also, in all markets, 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!

Although we feel confident about our data and the positive impact this change will have, we want to try it out with a small group of people before we make a decision to launch to everyone. What matters most is that this works for our community – we will be collecting data and gathering feedback along the way. We’re hoping fewer Tweets run into the character limit, which should make it easier for everyone to Tweet.

Twitter is about brevity. It's what makes it such a great way to see what's happening. Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter. That is something we will never change.

We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next."


In Spring 2016, Twitter stopped counting types of media toward the character count (this includes images, videos, gifs,etc), and in March, Twitter changed the nature of how @replies worked, the goal being to free up more space in tweets for users’ own thoughts and comments.

Along with #Twitter280, Twitter is also updating the user interface so it no longer counts down the characters until you approach the end. A circle will now fill in as you approach the limit, and you won’t know how many characters you have left until only 20 remain (or 10 for Japanese, Chinese and Korean language users).


“In all markets, when people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people tweeting,” the company says.

Should Twitter roll out a larger character limit to everyone, we recommend you do the following:

1. Continue to practice precise content creation. More characters maybe be tempting for those who have a lot to say, but still keep everything brief. You don't want to lose customers with excessive information, or going overboard with a new potential character limit.

2. Think about how a larger limit could help you amplify your Twitter strategy. What more could you be saying to customers? Is there different types of content or media that you'd like to incorporate in your marketing. Think about how these technological changes can impact your business positively, and plan ahead!

3. Lastly, make sure you are familiar with Twitter. Really make sure you understand the changes that social media platforms go through on a daily basis. If Twitter is your sole platform for customer service, outreach, & marketing, make sure you stay present & informed to avoid disruption in your marketing strategy.


How do you feel about #Twitter280? Let us know on Twitter @praeagency!