Twitter to permanently double the length of tweets after experiement

Posted November 08, 2017

Twitter recently announced a test project allowing tweets to be expanded to 280 characters - double the existing limit.

"We're expanding the character limit!"

The company started testing the longer tweet limit with a small group of users in September. "But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained", the company wrote in a blog post Tuesday afternoon.

Rozen said during the testing period, only 5% of tweets topped the 140-character limit, and only 2% went beyond 190 characters. The result is that users spend too much time trying to edit their tweets down, or abandon them altogether.

"Historically, 9pc of Tweets in English hit the character limit", said Ms Rosen.

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Twitter claims that its initial experiment showed that people who had more room to tweet received "more engagement" ie tweets, retweets and likes - something that's likely to be a draw for brands who use the platform natively.

However, the company chose to not rely on a user's system language or location to implement these varying limits.

Users had also anxious that longer tweets would exacerbate Twitter's ongoing problem with harassment - more characters might mean more scope for abuse.

"For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190 character Tweet", Rozen added. The change was made to give people more space to express themselves in certain languages where the company felt the 140 restriction was limiting. People did silly (creative!) things like writing just a few characters per line to make their Tweets extra large. "We'll definitely see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week's launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after". We're you concerned at first, but now don't mind? After awhile, we'll stop noticing long tweets in our newsfeeds (unless they keep getting bounced to the top, in case we missed them), but right now, Twitter is rubbing a lot of people the wrong way with this move.