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Twitter doubles character limit to 280 for (nearly) everyone

08 November 2017

While many Twitter users reacted with horror to the tests, Twitter said in a blog post that the higher limit made people more likely to tweet, left fewer than 1 percent of users hungry for more room and increased "engagement" - its umbrella term for likes, replies and retweets.

Twitter's character limit was created so that tweets could fit into a single text message, back when many people were using texts to receive tweets.

The company started testing the longer tweet limit with a small group of users in September.

The announcement comes just a few months after Twitter started testing a 280-character limit for a set number of users around the globe, courting concern from users who were anxious that banishing brevity would clog up their timelines.

The company says 9 percent of tweets written in English hit the 140-character limit.

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Users tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean will still have the original limit. Twitter says "cramming" is an issue that affects most languages, where certain ideas are unable to be expressed in 140 characters because of the length of some words.

The company didn't disclose how many users have been testing the longer tweets.

"This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning tweets before sending", Ms Rosen said. During its five-week or so test run, Twitter found that just 5% of the tweets from those users were actually longer than 140 characters, with 2% pushing 190 characters. It was a temporary effect and didn't last long. "We'll definitely see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week's launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after". We'll continue listening and working to make Twitter easier for everyone while making sure we keep what you love.

Twitter.com now supports 280 characters and now a circle progress indicator shows how many characters remain, but it will turn into a number when 20 characters remain.

Twitter doubles character limit to 280 for (nearly) everyone