Twitter Doubles Tweet Characters to 280, Users Think it is NOT Cool!
Twitter has announced on Tuesday it is doubling its character count for tweets — from 140 characters to 280 characters — for some of its users. The test group will include those who tweet in certain languages, including English, Spanish and Portuguese.
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
According to a blog post, Twitter goes the sympathy lane by saying “Trying to cram your thoughts into a Tweet – we’ve all been there, and it’s a pain.” It then announced that “We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean)”.
Apparently, the platform is justifying the proposed change by the fact that people can convey twice as much information in languages like Japanese, Korean and Chinese than English and Spanish.
Recall that Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey hinted at expanding the character limit sometimes back. Following his announcement, Twitter removed user handles (a person’s Twitter name preceded by the @ sign) from replies to tweets, instead of linking them in the text of the tweet earlier in the year. Twitter has also ensured that images do not add to the characters count.
According to Dorsey, the decision to limit the tweet character to 140 stems from text messaging (SMS messages are capped at 160 characters). Dorsey said that Twitter founders wanted tweets to be able to fit in a text message: 140 characters for the tweet, and 20 characters for the username.
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
But it appears events have influenced the founding principle. Twitter says it hopes people will embrace the change. It says in its post: “We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint”.
But considering the fact that the move strays from its core design, it has started causing some backlash:
NO!!!!!! The beauty of @Twitter is fitting sense (and nonsense) into that character space. Don't mess up the core beauty of the app 😩😩😩😩
— Denzel Mwiyeretsi (@DenzelUG) September 26, 2017
no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no
— alan🐛 (@bookmaggot) September 26, 2017
— Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirJadeja) September 26, 2017
And Dorsey’s team has acknowledged the criticisms and promised to review the decision.
We expected (and ❤️!) all the snark & critique for #280characters. Comes with the job. What matters now is we clearly show why this change is important, and prove to you all it’s better. Give us some time to learn and confirm (or challenge!) our ideas. https://t.co/qJrzzIluMw
— jack (@jack) September 27, 2017
We hope this goes well. Because, If brevity is the soul of wit, Twitter is about to get a lot less clever. What do you think?
If you’d like to get featured on our Entrepreneur Spotlight, click here to share your startup story with us.
Get latest Technology news, reviews, business-related content with a deliberate emphasis on the African narrative and insightful analysis in Nigeria – straight to your inbox.