08 November, 2017
According to BusinessInsider.com, Twitter chose to permanently expand its iconic 140-character restraint after users with access to the test spent more time on the platform and received more engagement, like retweets and likes, from their longer tweets. San Francisco-based Twitter said the new system, a major shift for the messaging platform known for its 140-character tweets, aims to address "a major cause of frustration" for many users. "We want it to be easier and faster for everyone to express themselves", tweeted the site, which started testing an increase to its 140-character limit in most languages in early September.
The company is loosening its word limit after feedback showing that those in their 280-character experimental group got more retweets, likes and followers when they got more space. "But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained", a Twitter blog post explains. During the 280-character tests, that number fell significantly, according to a graph of English-only tweets provided by Twitter. Long-form tweeting is now the standard for everyone, and the changes are in the process of rolling out to all users.
Twitter says this often results in lots of time spent editing and, at times, abandoning tweets before sending.
"For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190 character Tweet", Rozen added.
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"It's worth emphasising again that people in the test got very excited about the extra space in the beginning and many Tweets went way beyond 140", said Ms Rosen. It was a temporary effect and didn't last long.
When the trial initially launched, many users who had been gifted the extra characters used them to poke fun at the whole concept by way of much wordier messages.
As it notes about the initial launch of the 280 character limit testing, Twitter says there will be another spike of users tweeting longer tweets initially, but that it will level off quickly.