Back in September, the popular social media platform Twitter unveiled its 280 character limit to some of its users. This was only available for a few influencers while the company tested the idea out. But as of early November, the 140 character limit became 280 for all users.
According to CNN, Twitter says that the extended character count will not be available in Korean, Japanese, or Chinese-languages. Tweets in those languages can already convey a longer message using the shorter amount of characters, so the 280 number isn’t needed.
When the company tested out the 280 character limit on the small group of English users, it found great success and knew it had to be rolled out to everyone. Aliza Rosen, the product manager at Twitter, commented on the count in a blog post.
“Since we saw Tweets hit the character limit less often, we believe people spent less time editing their Tweets in the composer,” Rosen said. “This shows that more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before.”
During the test, some users arguedthat Twitter shouldn’t focus on the character count itself, but focus more on the content. Twitter believed that extending the character length would enhance the user experience, as they will have more space to say what they want to say.
Around 50% of mobile phone ownersuse their cell phone as their primary internet source, and Twitter has one of the most well-known brands in the tech world. This is why it makes sense for Twitter to do anything they can to please their users. Of course, not everyone is pleased with the change.
For users who were already frustrated with the onslaught of vitriol, racism, and sexist comments on the platform, there are now 140 more characters to worry about.
i dislike how this new twitter gives you an image of a developing circle for character count instead of just numbers
— donn(er)y (@donnythediva) November 28, 2017
For all of those wondering, the original 140 character length wasn’t arbitrary. Twitter’s founders said that they wanted their tweets to fit into a text message, which can only hold 160 characters. They went with 140 for the tweet itself, and 20 extra characters for the username.
The update to 280 characters is the first character update the company has launched since 2006 when the platform was launched.