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Twitter is rolling out the 280 character limit to everyone
08 November 2017, 12:39 | Kristen Gross
Twitter expands new 280 character limit globally
Twitter says that historically 9 per cent of tweets in English have hit the 140 character limit, indicating the user has probably had a hard time squeezing their thought into its constraints. This change in the app was given to specific users to test how it would go over among English-speaking users and Twitter must have decided it went over well because on Tuesday it announced the change would be rolling out to all users. During its trial run the company said that "only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters, and only 2% were over 190 characters", which would suggest that people want more room to tweet but not that much more.
Users have already employed clever tactics to stretch beyond 140 characters, such as screenshots of longer messages or tweetstorms, a series of connected tweets.
It says during the test many people tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after this people's behaviour normalised. So Twitter chose 140 characters for the tweet, and 20 characters for the user name. Most tweets still hover around 50 characters.
Twitter has never been a particularly convenient place to hold lengthy conversations, primarily a result of the platform's 140-character tweet limit. There has been a wave of criticism of the move to 280 characters, with some tweeters claiming they will leave the site.
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"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".
Everyone, that is, except those tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages.
Gartner analyst Brian Blau said in September that he doubts that the change will have a major effect on what people post to Twitter. "But that didn't happen. for reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190 character Tweet".
"People did silly (creative!) things like writing 1 character per line to make their Tweets extra large".
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