Twitter is actually testing doubling the character limit for tweets
In another effort to put more data per tweet, Twitter is testing doubling the character limit to 280. Co-founder CEO Jack Dorsey put out one of the first ceremonial test tweets.
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
Co-founder Biz Stone basically gave more context to the original 140 limit in a simulateous.
Originally, our constraint was 160 (limit of a text) minus username. But we noticed @biz got 1 more than @jack. For fairness, we chose 140. Now texts are unlimited. Also, we realize that 140 isn’t fair—there are differences between languages. We’re testing the limits. Hello 280!
— Biz Stone (@biz) September 26, 2017
The Twitter blog goes through how different language syntax results in more English tweets using all of the allotted characters while Japanese users only come up to 15 most often. The social media platform has also worked to make certain media and callsigns like handles and pictures not count toward the character limit. It allows up to 10,000-character Direct Messages.