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Twitter is rolling out 280-character tweets

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.

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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.

The progress indicator in Twitter for iOS

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.

Thoughts?

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!

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.

7 Comments
  • I actually like that it has to be short and to the point. I feel like by making it longer, it is taking away from what twitter is and trying to turn it into facebook.
  • It's not removing the limit entirely though, only increasing it. If you've posted various things on Twitter you'd be aware that it can be incredibly difficult sometimes to fit a message in. Also note that it's not coming to Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. The reason for this is because in these languages, a single character or two characters can represent a whole word. That meant that the existing 140 character limit was just right for them, hence why it's not being changed for people in those languages. I think 280 will allow people to write as much as you can get across in Japanese/Chinese/Koerean, which is the key thing
  • If you think the President got himself in trouble with 140 characters, just wait for 280.
  • If there's one benefit to this, it's this
  • So, they're only going to have people saying things they approve getting 280. Got it.
  • I haven't seen it yet as of 11-7
  • I'm not sure how the rollout works, but Tweetbot updated to support 280 characters, and as soon as it updated I got the ability to do so at least from Tweetbot