Twitter Officially Rolls Out New 280-Character Limit
UPDATE: (November 8) Twitter has officially released the 280-character limit for most of the languages that it supports.
I’m excited for the extra characters, but don’t ever plan on using all 280-characters. That’s just too much. According to Twitter’s official blog, “Historically, 9% of Tweets in English hit the character limit. This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a Tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning Tweets before sending. With the expanded character count, this problem was massively reduced – that number dropped to only 1% of Tweets running up against the limit. Since we saw Tweets hit the character limit less often, we believe people spent less time editing their Tweets in the composer. This shows that more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before.”
One drawback that I personally don’t like is that Twitter decided to replace the character count with a small circle that gradually fills up as you type. The change was too much for other users as well, but the following tweet hit it right on the nose.
I like how the new Twitter web client uses a progress circle instead of a word count in the editor. It’s like a clock ticking down to the moment when the reader will completely lose patience with you.
— Andy Ihnatko (@Ihnatko) November 8, 2017
Somebody had fun with Photoshop as well…
Good news! Twitter has already replaced that stupid new circle character counter: pic.twitter.com/oEFiPtZNCo
— your comrade (@DataAccumulator) November 8, 2017
Enjoy the new freedom you now have, but don’t abuse the character count just because you can.
Brace yourself, longer tweets are coming
Original Post: (November 1) Back in September, Twitter had a beta testing to increase it’s character limit from 140 to 280. Though Twitter hasn’t confirmed the news, there is speculation that all users will have access to 280-characters in the near future.
On Tuesday, Politico reported that Twitter is preparing to grant all users up to 280-characters per tweet. Currently there is no date set for when the change will occur, but expect it to happen very soon:
Twitter will up its character limit to 280 characters for everyone in the very near future. D.C. is beginning to buzz about it, as political operatives have caught wind of the change.
Can’t fit your Tweet into 140 characters?
We’re trying something new with a small group, and increasing the character limit to 280! Excited about the possibilities? Read our blog to find out how it all adds up. https://t.co/C6hjsB9nbL
— Twitter (@Twitter) September 26, 2017
In a blog post over a month ago from the social media platform they state,
“Twitter is about brevity. It’s what makes it such a great way to see what’s happening. Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter. That is something we will never change…We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.”
In short, Twitter believes 280 characters will be the sweet spot.
Think about it, we’ve been trying to get around this 140 character limit for years now. We all have that friend (maybe even ourselves) that will post a screenshot of their “notes” page on their iPhone/Android device to convey their message since 140 characters isn’t enough. You’d either have to do that or make a “thread,” basically just a series of tweets expressing your thoughts.
J. Cole did it back in September when he logged into Twitter for the first time in a while and had a lot of things on his mind.
How you make a thread
— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 24, 2017
Some of us got really good at the whole 140 character limit though. Just ask Christine Teigen.
literally my only talent was being able to think of tweets exactly 140 characters long. i don’t know if I will be able to alter this to 280.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) September 26, 2017
Not every tweet needs to be 240 characters but we’ve all come across a tweet during our time in life that we could’ve used a couple of more characters. Those tweets end up looking like an old text message from way back in the day when we had limits per text.
I’m all for the new 240 character limit, however, Forbes did put into perspective why the 140 character limit is good for us. “Every time you work to fit your message into 140 characters you train your brain to engage the challenge of distilling your message to its essence. Weighing the relative importance of words when composing a tweet is practice for making the most of restrictions in life and business.”
Like Charmin Ultra has taught us, “less is more.”