Twitter Doubles Tweet Limit to 280 Characters

Wednesday, 08 Nov, 2017

It's official. We're going to 280. So Twitter chose 140 characters for the tweet, and 20 characters for the user name.

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

Only 5% of tweets posted since the experiment was introduced, for example, were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters; whether those statistics will hold up from now on remains to be seen.

Twitter expects people to go a bit insane once they get access to 280 characters, which is exactly what happened when the company first started testing the feature in September.

Twitter assures its readers that 280 characters will give its users room to be even more creative. Some Twitterati think brevity is the soul of the service and worry the longer form will ruin what's special about it.

Following an age of blogging, when lengthy rants or emo contemplation lit up the likes of LiveJournal or Xanga, the move to bite-sized thoughts felt different.

"Now it feels like walking into traffic on a freeway to get on Twitter", Etlinger quipped.

Aliza Rosen, product manager at Twitter said: "We - and many of you - were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character Tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space".

Back in September, Twitter began testing an expanded character limit for tweets, raising the cap from 140 characters to 280 characters for a few select users. After awhile, we'll stop noticing long tweets in our newsfeeds (unless they keep getting bounced to the top, in case we missed them), but right now, Twitter is rubbing a lot of people the wrong way with this move.

The increased character limit will happen for users in all languages except for Japanese, Korean and Chinese. 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".

The company had previously said all other limitations and allowances will remain in effect. "The tendency to start small and expand has been a relentless pattern with all of these apps and platforms", she said, citing expanding ambitions at Facebook and others.