Twitter moving to 280 characters in tweets from 140.
Twitter announced on their blog last night that they will be expanding the character limit in tweets from 140 to 280 to random accounts, but will be a test for all Twitter users in the near future.
According to Twitter product manager, Aliza Rosen, “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). Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this.”
Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, also made the brief announcement from his personal Twitter account yesterday which was met with both positive and negative feedback.
Still, Twitter pointed to people who post primarily in Japanese, Chinese and Korean, languages with alphabets that allow the expression of more thoughts in fewer characters. Those users tend to bump up against the character limits less often, which Twitter said leads to more frequent messages.
As a result, Twitter said, if rules around characters are loosened, English-speaking users — who tend to use more characters in tweets — will also hit character limits less frequently. That may, in turn, lead English-speaking users to post more regularly.
The test will begin in small groups around the world. The company has not said whether it will roll the change out to all users in the future.
Twitter said the people who will get to test the 280-character tweets will be randomly selected. Whether that may include prominent Twitter users like President Trump is unclear.
Although we tend to believe that much of this is stemming from flat growth and new user acquisition, and also pressure from shareholders to update a stale platform, we personally welcome the change and are interested in seeing how tweets and people will react to the change and update. It will certainly provide us with a lot more data from a social listening perspective for our client base.
Author: Eric Graham, Digital Marketing Manager