Twitter Goes Through With It: You're All Getting 280 Damn Characters

By Jennings Brown on at

After several weeks of Twitter users tweeting about how much they hate the idea of expanded character limits, Twitter has officially announced that it’s doubling the previous 140-character limit for all users.

Twitter has been considering increasing the limit since at least last year. In September, the company finally announced the plan and started giving the long-tweet superpower to some test users.

The decision did not seem to please the Twitter base, concerned that longer tweets would clog up timelines.

Today, in a blog post explaining the decision, Twitter spokesperson Aliza Rosen wrote that in the days after the trial began, “many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behavior normalized.” Twitter noticed that usually, these trial tweeters tweeted using fewer than 140 characters. But if they needed those extra few characters, they “Tweeted more easily and more often,” according to Twitter, which can apparently read users minds and determine when they are at ease.

Twitter claims that among the trial users “5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters.” The company suggests the issue seemed more concerning to users because “people in the test got very excited about the extra space in the beginning and many Tweets went way beyond 140. People did silly (creative!) things like writing just a few characters per line to make their Tweets extra large.”

So, Twitter assures us that once the novelty wears off and the lollygagers stop showboating, then everything will just return to normal. The blog post also suggests that more characters lead to more engagement. “People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall,” writes Rosen.

So this is on you, trail users. You blew it for everyone. [Twitter]