Twitter expands character limit to 280

The reaction has been mixed

Twitter has announced plans to expand the character limit for tweets to 280 characters, double that of the previous limit of 140.

The news was revealed by Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. Writing on the social media site, he stated: “This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!”

In a blog on the Twitter site, they reveal that the changes are being slowly rolled out across the network. “Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this,” they write, before explaining that languages such as Japanese, Chinese and Korean use signifcantly fewer characters, due to the nature of their language, and thus are less impacted by ‘cramming’, or being forced to edit their tweets down to fit within the 140 character limit. As such, all languages minus those three are set to see the new 280 character limit rolled out in the coming weeks and months.

“We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too,” the blog concludes, “But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.”

Twitter

Reaction to the news has been mixed, with many Twitter fans reluctant to embrace the new, longer character limit. Check out some of the best fan reactions to the news below.

However, some others were much more positive about the news.

Jack Dorsey responded to the mixed reaction with another 140-plus character tweet, writing: “We expected (and <3!) all the snark & critique for #280characters. Comes with the job. What matters now is we clearly show why this change is important, and prove to you all it’s better. Give us some time to learn and confirm (or challenge!) our ideas.”