One of the best things about Twitter is it’s concise nature where messages are limited to 140 characters so there is very little waffle and people have to make their Tweets short and sweet. One of the worst things about Twitter is that you are limited to only 140 characters for your Tweets which are sometimes impossible to keep that brief. It is a conundrum, we want more characters for sending and less for reading. Unfortunately there is no solution to that (just yet) but Twitter are working on a solution to the sending limit.
Twitter have today announced that they are trialling with “a small group of people” extending Tweet limits to 280 characters. Twitter have done an extensive analysis of their data and found that “280 characters will allow people Tweeting in phonetic languages to express themselves as equally and easily as people Tweeting in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean already can with 140 characters (languages with denser writing systems).” The changes are expected to be extended to all languages “impacted by cramming” which is apparently every single one except Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
Less than half a percent of Tweets sent in Japanese use the full 140 characters whereas 9 percent of English Tweets hit that limit. Of course, and understandably, this leads to a difference in the number of Tweets sent due to frustration with the character limit. In countries where users do not have to cram to fit their message within the 140 character limit Twitter see a lot more people Tweeting.
Twitter are only trialling this with a small group of people and will analyse the data and gather feedback before rolling it out to the wider community. They acknowledge that Twitter is meant to be all about brevity and they do not want to change that but feel that 280 characters will allow more people to express themselves without having to worry about running into a character limit. There is no mention on how long they intend to be testing this new limit.
How do you feel about this change? Do you like the brevity of 140 characters per Tweet or would you rather it change to the 280 character limit being trialled?