Social media giant Twitter has officially expanded its character count limit to 280 from 140 today. Now, all the users in all the supported languages including English would be able to tweet 280 character in one go. Earlier the limit was 140. It has been rolled across all regions including India.
The company had announced its intention in September 2017 to move beyond its traditional 140 characters, noting that a longer character count allowed users to express more of their thoughts without running out of room to tweet. To ensure that all goes well with the plan, the expansion was initially made available to a select group of Twitter users as a trial.
Although many Twitter users have shown apprehension on the expansion but Twitter has justify the expansion citing data and survey backing up its decision that the character constraints impacted users differently, depending on their language. For example, according Twitter, those who tweeted in languages like Japanese, Korean and Chinese were able to express around double the amount of information in a single character, compared with users who spoke English, Spanish, Portuguese or French.
According to multiple reports, the Twitter’s user base is somewhat split on whether the change would ruin Twitter. Many users are opposed to the change but equally there are large number of users who favour the expansion.
In a blog post, Twitter assuage people’s fears that their timelines will fill with expanded tweets. The company said that during the trial period, people continued to tweet below 140 characters most of the time. Twitter said that only 5 percent of tweets were sent out with more than 140 characters and of those, only 2 percent were over 190 characters.
It also said that many of the goofy things people did once they gained the ability to tweet more – like writing only a few characters per line to make extra-large tweets – were only a temporary effect. Twitter added that only 1 percent of tweets hit the character limit after the expansion to 280, compared with 9 percent of tweets, historically speaking.
Twitter today has 330 million monthly users, as of its Q3 2017 earnings.