After Twitter announced it would be testing out a new feature — a doubled character limit — with a "small group" of people, the company is now rolling out the change to users across the world.
Can’t fit your Tweet into 140 characters? 🤔— Twitter (@Twitter) September 26, 2017
We’re trying something new with a small group, and increasing the character limit to 280! Excited about the possibilities? Read our blog to find out how it all adds up. 👇https://t.co/C6hjsB9nbL
The company said 140 characters don't give users enough space for folks to express themselves. In a blog post, Twitter shared some of its product research regarding the 140 character limit. It seems nearly every language supported on Twitter — save for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean — runs up against that 140 mark time and time again.
In languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French. … We see that a small percent of Tweets sent in Japanese have 140 characters (only 0.4%). But in English, a much higher percentage of Tweets have 140 characters (9%). … Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese.
The company said it spent time collecting data and feedback from its test group before it making the change. The feature will be rolling out to all supported languages, except for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
How do you know when you've received the 280 character limit?
I'm still waiting for the change to roll out on Twitter for the web, but I've seen my account get the update on Twitter's official mobile app. Instead of the familiar 140-character counter, you'll see a circle with a progress indicator. Over time, the progress indicator will fill up, showing you about how much space you have left.
Instead of showing you exact character counts — which may challenge you to use as many characters as possible — the progress indicator is a subtler way to show you how many more characters you can fit in a tweet.
Are you looking forward to having more characters to express your thoughts (and hot takes) on Twitter or do you wish they'd stuck with 140 characters? Give us a shout in the comments or — even better — over on Twitter!
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