Twitter doubles character limit from 140 characters to 280

Twitter expands character limit to 280

Twitter is testing an expanded character limit, which doubles the previous 140 character maximum to 280.

The reason? People have a lot to say. “Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English,” the company wrote. “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!”

The expanded limit is being tested in every language except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean – which are more dense languages, allowing for twice as much information to be conveyed per character than languages like English or Spanish.

According to data released by the platform, approximately 9% of all tweets in English hit the 140 character mark, whereas only 0.4% of tweets in Japanese do the same.

Tweets in English vs Tweets in Japanese
(Source: Twitter)

The initial 140 character limit was born from an analog-age desire to fit tweets into SMS messages, which were capped at 160 characters – leaving just enough room for the tweet’s contents and a username handle. Last year, rumors surfaced that the company was considering a 10,000 character limit, at the same time it removed media attachments and at-reply usernames from the character count.

The expanded limit of 280 characters is being tested with a select number of users, and barring no wide-spread protests, a global rollout is expected in the near future.

“We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too,” the company said. “But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.”