Twitter Goes Through With It: You're All Getting 280 Damn Characters

Twitter Goes Through With It: You're All Getting 280 Damn Characters

Twitter announced Tuesday it will roll out a 280-character limit for single tweets after testing the option among a handful of users since September.

Twitter.com now supports 280 characters and now a circle progress indicator shows how many characters remain, but it will turn into a number when 20 characters remain.

Twitter's latest move is a watershed moment for the publicly traded company, which posted better-than-expected earnings and revenue growth during its most recent quarter but struggled with sluggish user growth in more recent quarters. However, many of Twitter's 330 million monthly active users were already getting around the limit by linking to longer pieces, taking screenshots of full stories, and sending streams of tweets called tweetstorms to complete thoughts.

Picked at random, it granted five percent of its users to 280 character tweets.

The users in question - Timrasett and HackneyYT - reportedly worked together to find an exploit that allowed them to send out 35,000 characters of nonsensical letters and numbers, effectively shattering Twitter's existing character limits. Most tweets still hover around 50 characters.

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However Japanese, Korean, and Chinese users will continue to have 140 characters "because cramming is not an issue in these languages". People end up spending more time editing tweets or don't send them out at all.

Twitter's character limit was created so that tweets could fit into a single text message, back when many people were using texts to receive tweets.

Aliza Rosen, product manager at Twitter said: "We - and many of you - were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character Tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space". Those people also got more followers, spent more time on the platform and interacted more with other users on the service, the company added.

It's worth emphasizing again that people in the test got very excited about the extra space in the beginning and many Tweets went way beyond 140. It was a temporary effect and didn't last long.

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