Twitter initially allowed users to post a single tweet within 160 characters, out of which it reserved 20 characters for the username and gave the remaining 140 for posting the message. It stayed the same for a decade before Twitter once again changed the limit last year. In 2016 the microblogging social platform kept the same 160 characters but removed the @mentions and links from the limit.
Now, the social media firm has increased the character limit even further by not just 20-30 characters but by entirely doubling up the number to 280 characters. The news was announced by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a tweet, which utilised all the 280 characters. It has been confirmed that the new character limit is being tested with a small group of users.
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
Twitter product manager, Aliza Rosen in the official blog post said that the firm has introduced 280 characters for those languages that take up more space, which is nearly all of them except for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. These three languages can stuff more information in a single tweet than others.
According to the social media platform, 9% of all tweets in English hit the 140 character limit, whereas only 0.4% of all tweets in Japanese hit the same limit. Most of them are posted using around 15 characters out of 140.
“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,” said Rosen.
It has not been mentioned when exactly Twitter plans to roll out 280 character limit to all the users.