Twitter announced that it has started testing an expanded 280-character limit for its tweets.

Eleven years after its launch, the social networking service that was founded in San Francisco is overhauling its defining feature, in an effort to help its users to express better. As Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen said: “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”.

The 140-character limit was established to reflect the length of SMS messages, which was how tweets were distributed prior to the development of mobile apps. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters; 20 of the 160 characters reserved for the user’s Twitter ID.

But that is now set to change.

Although this is only available to a small group right now, Twitter wants to be transparent about why the company is excited to try this. Here are some of their findings:

Nine per cent of tweets in English hit the 140-character limit, instead of the Japanese.

“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, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next”.

Here are 140 (left) and 280 (right) character Tweets in the timeline.
The same Tweet in different languages.

Meanwhile, although Twitter is giving you more characters to express yourself, some users are not so happy about that.


Source: Twitter