Twitter spreads 280-character limit to the general public

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No longer just limited to what Twitter deemed an unfitting 140-character limit, a growing number of the social platform’s users are now getting a taste of what it’s like to double up.

The new limit of 280 is rolling out to the general population after a six-week testing period with a select group of celebrities. Users will not be notified of the change, but will notice when crafting a tweet that a circle has replaced the digital indicator of how many characters will be able to fit into the message.

Prior to the spread of the new limit, Twitter justified the move as a way to allow users who use most any language to express a full thought within a relatively short framework — though languages with heavier intentional densities like Chinese, Japanese and Korean will still stay with the old 140 limit.

The company claims that only 5 percent of tweets from those who participated in the trial period had gone past the traditional 140 while only 2 percent came above 190. Engagement was higher for the longer tweets — perhaps symptomatic of the fatigue for “thread.”

The original limit was an arbitrary choice based on the original character limit per SMS message.

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About The Author
Jules Wang

Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.