Twitter announced on Tuesday that it would officially double the character limit on its platform so users who speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and other languages have more space to express themselves. The new 280 character limit should become available over the next couple of days to most users.
The move was made after an initial test with a relatively small pool of users, which began back in September. The results of that test were conclusive, showing brief behavior changes on the social media site, but fast adaptation to the new extra space to share thoughts with others.
This widespread rollout has been met with mixed reception since most Twitter users who spend a significant amount of time in the hub have long claimed for other more urgent changes to its social dynamics. Hate speech and cyberbullying is a pervasive problem on the platform, and yet little has been done to address it.
Twitter says 280 characters are not a big deal
Since its introduction more than a decade ago, the foundation of Twitter has been brevity of communication. The banner bearer of this principle was the 140 character limit on tweets, which have progressively adapted to squeeze more and more content within these small information capsules.
The microblogging platform gradually shifted to accommodate user preferences, removing usernames and links from the character count and allowing for content like polls, videos, and gifs to be embedded without compromising precious characters.
Now, the Twitter-wide change will see users of certain languages with twice as much space to say what they have been prompted to say in half for more than 10 years. The company backs up their decision based on data that shows users adapted just as easily to the new extra input space.
Novelty wears off after a couple of days according to user data obtained by Twitter over the course of two months, with people doing “creative” things just a couple of times and then resuming to regular tweeting. The character limit is, on average, exceeded only when needed.
twitter: what do you guys want
everyone: get rid of the nazis and fix the report system
twitter: did I hear 280 characters
— ?Goth Ms Thankful? (@spookperson) September 26, 2017
Users demand answers to more pressing Twitter problems
Meanwhile, users will continue to use the extra space to daydream about the moment when Twitter realizes some of the core problems of their site have to do with the libertine users that roam inactive, trolling, or downright cyberbullying others.
Others are worried about what the extended tweeting range will do to their timelines, although the firm has discredited all worries by basing themselves on data showing that the experience doesn’t change as much as it would with double the character length.