Science & Technology

Twitter rolls out 280-character limit for all


KATHMANDU — Twitter has announced on Wednesday that it’s trial of a 280-character tweet limit is to be universally expanded and longer tweets will now be the standard in every language where Twitter is available.

With this, the 140-character limit that has been around since 2006 and became part of Twitter’s identity from Wednesday paved the way for a new 280-character limit that is now available virtually for all users — including for those who tweet in Nepali, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi,Gujarati and Tamil etc.

The move comes after a limited experiment which began in September to see if a larger character count reduced “cramming” and led to users better expressing themselves.

Twitter launched a test with a select group of users that expanded the 140-character limit in September,  so that they could express themselves easily in a tweet.

“Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter. Looking at all the data, we’re excited to share we’ve achieved this goal and are rolling the change out to all languages where cramming was an issue,” the micro-blogging platform said in a blog post on Wednesday.

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During the first few days of the test, many people tweeted the full 280-limit because it was new and novel but soon after, the behaviour normalised.

“We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained,” said Aliza Rosen, Product Manager, Twitter.

Only five percent of tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only two per cent were over 190 characters.

But, at the same time, expanding the character limit risks disrupting the fast-moving, real-time nature of the site, encouraging people users to post more expansive paragraphs where they once just have posted a few words and a link.