Twitter is “giving you more characters to express yourself” by rolling out 280 character tweets.
In an official Twitter blog post by @alizar & @nabokov7, the social media network has announced one of its biggest ever changes to tweets. Twitter teased this update for some time recently removing images and video from counting towards that valuable 140 character limit.
Originally, our constraint was 160 (limit of a text) minus username. But we noticed @biz got 1 more than @jack. For fairness, we chose 140. Now texts are unlimited. Also, we realize that 140 isn’t fair—there are differences between languages. We’re testing the limits. Hello 280!
— Biz Stone (@biz) September 26, 2017
Why 280 character tweets?
The key catalyst for the new limit is language. Tweets in English and other popular languages like Spanish & French hit the 140 limit far quicker than other languages such as Japanese or Korean. Therefore, Twitter is testing a new 280 limit with languages that struggle to confine to the original 140 max characters. This will exclude the likes of Japanese, Chinese, & Korean as they appear to be less-restricted by the current 140.
Twitter discovered that only 0.4 percent of Japanese tweets contained 140 characters, compared to 9% of tweets in English. Their research revealed that most tweets in Japanese featured 15 characters, whereas tweets in English contained more than double that figure and were composed of 34.
The new 280 character tweets are in test-mode and are only available to a small sample for the time being. Expect the new tweets to be rolling out globally in the near future.
What does this change mean?
Twitter is placing a focus on self-expression. Tweets will still remain brief, but by doubling the character account, it allows users to be more emotive and no longer have to worry about omitting keywords and phrases from tweets.
The below image from the Twitter blog post highlights the difference between languages when publishing the exact same tweet. The tweet in English, which hits the 140 limit, requires twice as many characters than its Japanese counterpart.
An important factor of the new 280 character tweets will be the difference it will make for brands, businesses, and politicians. With the potential to share more copy, marketing messages can be reinforced, politicians can express wider views, and overall, tweets may make more sense.
How to access 280 character tweets
If you are not in the select few who already have access to the new tweet limit, then there are a few workarounds.
There are many methods but according to The Next Web, one method appears easiest. Their approach involves users taking advantage of tweetdeck.com. To publish 280 character tweets, you need to create a ‘new snippet’ and add some special code. Then it’s hello 280 characters. Follow their guide in this article.
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