Twitter today announced a global test its conducting which expands the service’s character limit in a tweet to 280. This doubles the current 140 character limit and aims to unify how tweets are sent around the world.
Specifically, Twitter admits even its own employees struggle to keep their tweets inside the 140 character limit. Meanwhile, those in other countries such as Japan can type one character and have it mean so much more than one word in English. Therefore, they’re able to stay comfortably within the character limit with room to spare. On the other hand, those who speak different languages that require more words to express something typically get cramped and sometimes don’t even send their tweet.
According to Twitter, just 9% of all tweets manage to reach the 140 character limit, while 0.4% of Japanese tweets hit the limit since they require less room. Of course, 9% isn’t very significant, but it definitely reigns supreme when compared to 0.4% so it makes sense to see a character expansion occur.
Of course, not only do statistics tell us a broader character limit for tweets is a good idea, but users have been complaining for years about wishing to have the ability to say more without sending out a tweetstorm. Now, even if you do send out a tweetstorm, it’ll be half the size. A win-win for all of us, amirite?
Thanks to changes in Twitter’s API, all third-party Twitter clients should be able to display 280 character tweets without any updates necessary on the developers’ part. Same goes for the official Twitter apps. There is no guarantee you’ll be able to send out 280 character tweets, however, as the social network is simply testing the waters in this case. They could even shelve the feature if they find people aren’t liking it. But let’s face it: I think people are gonna like this.
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