After a brief, seemingly successful trial in September, Twitter has today announced they are opening the floodgates allowing all users on the micro-blogging platform to tweet up to 280 characters.
The expansion from 140 to 280 characters isn’t going to open the floodgates to a messier timeline though, with Twitter closely monitoring the metrics on how many people used the expanded option in the trial. In the wake of the trial, Twitter says that there was some abuse of the expanded tweet option, but like any new feature the novelty quickly wore off. Twitter says that ‘only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters’.
For users who did actually engage in the expanded tweets, engagement grew. Their monitoring showed that these expanded tweets allowed for more engagement from Twitter users in terms of likes, retweets and follows. With more people engaging with their tweets, users actually tweeted more, a major plus for the company. Twitter has been trying to push for more activity on the platform to grow with the all important Monthly Active Users metrics a big factor for shareholders.
In terms of changing the way Twitter is used, it’s certainly going to be a bit of a downer for any Twitter user who has been after the all important ‘Twoosh’, the phrase coined when you manage to craft a tweet which precisely meets the previous 140-character limit. Does crafting a precise length 280 character tweet constitute a double-Twoosh?
The expanded tweets come on the heels of Twitters efforts to reign in other issues with the social network, which has been dealing with issues of cyber bullying and harassment for years. Twitter has taken a number of steps, but none have really worked thus far. Last month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced new changes to fight harassment and hate groups in a series of Tweets.
6/ We decided to take a more aggressive stance in our rules and how we enforce them.
— jack (@jack) October 14, 2017
How effective these new rules have been isn’t really clear. Even with these new rules in place, actress Rose Mcgowan was last month suspended from Twitter for ‘abuse’ after responding to Ben Afleck with an expletive regarding his knowledge of Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour after sexual harassment claims surfaced.
Twitter users have also been wanting to see the introduction of other features such as editable Tweets, allowing for those niggling spelling errors in Tweets to be easily fixed. Still, 280 characters is an interesting feature.
The update to allow users to tweet 280 characters doesn’t appear to have hit as yet, with my official Twitter app still showing the 140 character limit. The update to allow users to tweet 280 characters is likely to be brought through a server side switch, so we shouldn’t have long to wait.
Have you been able to tweet 280 characters?