According to Politico, Twitter is set to up its character limit to 280 words, from the previous 140. This new idea is a month in the making, as the social media platform tested the new layout to select users, for a chance to see if the strategy would excite them.
Can’t fit your Tweet into 140 characters? 🤔
We’re trying something new with a small group, and increasing the character limit to 280! Excited about the possibilities? Read our blog to find out how it all adds up. 👇https://t.co/C6hjsB9nbL
— Twitter (@Twitter) September 26, 2017
“With this new feature, Twitter hopes you’ll feel less frustrated because you won’t have to cram or reduce your message. And perhaps you won’t even have to send out multiple tweets to convey one idea,” Twitter announced in a blog post. “In short, Twitter believes 280 characters is the sweet spot. It’s long enough for you to better express yourself, but still enough of a constraint to keep tweets brief.”
Even the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, tweeted that the change is an obvious choice with the direction the digital world is headed.
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
In another blog post, Twitter shows how different languages, such as Japanese, have an advantage to tweeting as they can express their thoughts and feelings with less characters. The platforms co-founder, Biz Stone, brings that tidbit to light in a tweet that reads:
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