Twitter’s 280-character limit is rolling out to (nearly) all users

Twitter’s new 280-character limit is to be expanded to users globally following a successful trial, the social media site has announced.

The company announced an experiment in September to test the larger character limit to help users reduce “cramming” and better express themselves on the site.

Now the expanded limit will be rolled out to users in all languages except Chinese, Japanese and Korean – languages where cramming in tweets is not an issue, the company said.

Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen said: “In September, we launched a test that expanded the 140 character limit so every person around the world could express themselves easily in a Tweet.

“Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter.

“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.

“During the first few days of the test many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behaviour normalised.

“We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained.”

The expanded character limit is part of plans to make the social media platform more accessible and appealing, with Twitter looking to increase revenue and entice new users as it battles the likes of Facebook and Snapchat for popularity.

According to data published by Twitter on the 280-character experiment, introducing the extended character count saw the number of tweets that hit the limit drop from 9% to 1%.

Twitter said it proved the extra space made it easier for users to “fit thoughts in a tweet”.

The company also said it found that the change had not affected brevity on the site.

(Lauren Hurley/PA)
“We – and many of you – were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character Tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space,” Ms Rosen said.

“But that didn’t happen. Only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters.

“As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline. For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190 character Tweet.”

The company confirmed the new character limit would now begin rolling out to users.

The social media giant has around 330 million monthly active users around the world.

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