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Twitter Tests Doubling Character Limit For Tweets To 280

Twitter announced today that it has started testing 280-character tweets for select users. The new limit doubles the current 140-character limit, and is said to help users be more expressive. The Verge reports: “Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English,” the company said in a blog post. “When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting — which is awesome!”

About 9 percent of all tweets today are exactly 140 characters, Twitter says. It’s tough to do that on accident, suggesting that users frequently have to edit their initial thoughts to get them under the limit. (It’s certainly true for me.) Now Twitter hopes to ease that burden by doubling the character limit in what it calls “languages impacted by cramming,” which includes every language except for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. The report goes on to note that the “140-character limit was originally established to reflect the length of SMS messages, which was how tweets were distributed prior to the development of mobile apps. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters; Twitter reserved the remaining 20 for the username,” reports The Verge.


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