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Twitter to double its character limit from 140 to 280, aims to boost appeal

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 27 September 2017, 12:39 IST
Twitter

Online news and social networking service Twitter has started testing 280-character tweets for people to convey more meaning or emotion.

“This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160-character SMS limit,” said chief executive Jack Dorsey, announcing the update on Tuesday.

San Francisco-based Twitter said the move aims to address “a major cause of frustration” for many users.

“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English,” the company said in a blog post.

“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!”

Before deciding whether to launch it to every one, the giant is testing the new feature with a small subset of its 328 million users.

“Trying to cram your thoughts into a tweet -- we've all been there, and it's a pain,” product manager Aliza Rosen and software engineer Ikuhiro Ihara said in a blog post.

“We're doing something new: we're going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming.”

“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English, but it is not for those tweeting in Japanese,” Rosen and Ihara said.

“Also, in all markets, when people don't have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people tweeting.”

First published: 27 September 2017, 12:39 IST
 
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