Programmatic Lunch

Twitter has officially rolled out 280 characters to all

Tyrone Stewart

Jack Dorsey 280-character tweetBack in September, Twitter began testing an increase to its tweet length, doubling the character limit from 140 characters to 280 characters. Now, the microblogging site has decided to roll out the 280-character limit to all users.

According to Twitter, its short trial period was a success with the number of tweets hitting the character limit falling from nine per cent to just one per cent for English-speaking users.

“Since we saw Tweets hit the character limit less often, we believe people spent less time editing their Tweets in the composer,” said Aliza Rosen, product manager at Twitter, in a blog post. “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.”

Despite having a 280-character limit, those in the test group only sent out five per cent of their tweets over 140 characters and only two per cent over 190 characters – appeasing user concerns about the character length ruining user experience. Twitter notes that this may notes that the “novelty effect” will mean users initially get excited with their use of tweet space, but normal behaviour should be resumed once this wears off.

“You’ll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline,” said Rozen. “For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190-character Tweet.”

As with the trial, those on the Japanese, Korean and Chinese versions of the platform will not have the ability to tweet in 280 characters, as their languages are already able to condense thoughts into less space due to their writing systems.

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