Talia Soares

Presenter

Sept 27, 2017

Talia Soares

Presenter

Twitter aims to expand tweet character limit5 min read

One of the most used social media platforms, Twitter has grown tremendously since it launched in 2006, and over the years many persons have complained about the 140-character limit for tweets.

Twitter, however, has considered changing that and have even made steps to correct it. The company on Tuesday announced it would let a small, random sampling of users tweet updates up to 280 characters, doubling the previous amount. In a company blog post, Twitter Product Manager Aliza Rosen and Senior Software Engineer Ikuhiro Ihara explained that the experiment would not apply to languages such as Japanese, Chinese and Korean, simply because those languages already allow their native speakers to convey roughly twice the amount of information in one character compared with many other languages, including English, Spanish and Portuguese.

They also stated that their research showed that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English, but it is not for those tweeting in Japanese,” Rosen and Ihara wrote in the blog post.

Indeed, 9% of all tweets in English hit the 140-character limit, while just 0.4% of tweets in Japanese do the same. Rosen and Ihara added that in all markets where people don’t have to “cram” their thoughts into 140 characters and have some room to spare, Twitter sees more people tweeting, and ultimately more engagement. While Twitter plans on releasing more generous character limit out initially to a small group before making a decision to roll it out to all of its users, many previous features it’s tested have wound up mainstays, such as replacing stars with hearts in November 2015 as a way to favorite or “like” tweets.

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