While Twitter users have mostly had success in expressing their concerns in just 140 characters — often via "tweetstorms" — it's simply not enough anymore. The microblogging service announced a while back that it was going to test whether upping the limit to 280 characters yields positive results. It has.
Now the expanded limit is officially rolling out worldwide.
Twitter Makes New 280-character Limit Official
Longer tweets will now be the standard for most of the languages Twitter is available in, excluding Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Twitter says more thoughts can fit into fewer characters in these languages. Hence, the limit will persist.
Will All Tweets Be Longer Now?
Twitter said in a blog post that the expanded tweet limit would enable easier expression while maintaining the microblogging element of the social network. There's been concern from some that expanding the character limit would cause tweets to be too long, but as Twitter discovered during its global test, that assumption is wrong.
Only 1 percent of all tweets hit the full 280 characters during the test, said Twitter. Basically, the brevity Twitter has always been known for was retained.
"During the first few days of the test many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behavior normalized," Twitter said. " We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained."
More Meaningful Tweets
The expanded limit does more than enabling users to squeeze in more words, though. According to Twitter, the new character limit disrupts the fast-moving, real-time nature of the site because it allows people to take more time with their tweets as opposed to posting a few words and then sending it out willy-nilly. The expansion will be especially useful for many accounts that frequently explain or elaborate on political events, controversies, and personal experiences through a series of 140-character tweetstorms.
But this likely won't disrupt Twitter that much. In fact, only 5 percent of all tweets went above the 140-character limit during the test, and just 2 percent exceeded 190 characters. The timeline shouldn't change that drastically.
"You'll still see about the same amount of tweets in your timeline," Twitter said.
While this comes as a nice and welcome addition to Twitter, the company has more pressing matters to attend to, including online harassment, revenge porn, and the spread of fake news. At least now users can target complaints at Twitter about such issues with longer sentences.
But the ultimate question is how President Donald Trump plans to use the expanded limit.