We've all felt the frustration that comes with attempting to cram our important thoughts into Twitter's 140 character limit. But that's all about to change. Twitter surprised users yesterday by announcing that the character limit would be doubled to allow tweets up to 280 characters long.
According to Twitter's official blog, the inspiration behind this change came from an analysis of the relative ease that users of certain languages (Japanese, Korean, Chinese) could convey more information within the 140 character limit than users of other languages such as English, Italian, Spanish or French. For example, 9% of all tweets in English hit the 140 character limit, but only 0.4% of tweets in Japanese do the same.
In order to allow everyone in Twitter's global user base to express themselves more easily, the company has decided to try out a longer limit of 280 characters, double what was previously available. Twitter hopes that this will eliminate the frustration that users feel trying to condense information into a single tweet, and hopefully encourage more users to engage with the platform.
Right now the expanded character limit is only being tried out with a select group of users, but the idea is to soon enable every user to make more verbose tweets. If you don't yet find yourself with more room on your Twitter box yet, you still might be randomly selected to try the new limit in the upcoming weeks or months.
Some longtime users will no doubt feel nostalgic for the 140 character limit, which inspired many writers and Twitter personalities to craft short, snappy tweets with a few carefully selected words for maximum effect. Twitter is considered a must-have app for many mobile users, and the need to be concise also spawned new acronyms and abbreviations that entered spoken slang,
But for the majority of users who really struggle to squeeze what they want to say into 140 characters or less, the new 280 character limit will feel like a godsend. It'll be interesting to see the impact this change has on celebrity statements and internet slang.
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