Last year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the 140-character limit that people complain so much about is going to remain as it is a trademark for the social media platform. However, on Tuesday, the company announced a change of plans. Twitter will reportedly allow a small group of people to test a 280-character limit for the tweets. As for who will get to try this change, Twitter said that it will randomly choose a few millions of users from its 328 million userbase. The company didn’t provide any details regarding how those users will be chosen to test the feature. Also, it didn’t explain why it changed its mind about not giving up on the 140-character limit.
Twitter testing 280-character limit
It’s interesting that in a recent post on the company’s blog, Aliza Rosen, the product manager at Twitter, and Ikuhiro Ihara, the senior software engineer, revealed that the idea to play with the 140-character limit came from the differences between languages. For example, in some Asian languages, like Japanese and Chinese, you don’t need so many characters to express something. According to them, only about 0,4% of tweets in Japanese have 140 characters. At the same time, 9% of those in English reach the character limit.
So, it seems like most tweets in Japanese only have 15 characters, while most of those in English have 34. So, this new 280-character limit feature is going to become available for all languages. The exceptions are the Asian ones like Japanese, Chinese and Korean. However, Twitter users have long been tricking this rule and it’s not unusual to see someone sending a “Twitterstorm” when what they have to say requires more characters. They usually signal that more tweets are going to follow and send a chain of them.
Twitter changed its mind
It’s interesting that even Jack Dorsey himself usually gets around the rule by posting images of longer texts. Even if last year he talked about how this character limit is a trademark for Twitter. Also, the very reason the social platform is so easy to use. According to him, when he created it, he had this idea in mind that people would go there, type a short thought that they have and send it out in the world. Now, it seems like the company has changed its mind regarding this feature.
Image source: freegreatpicture