Home Technology Twitter trials a doubled-up character limit

Twitter trials a doubled-up character limit

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Twitter

If Twitter’s known for one thing – other than being a cesspool of hatred, anger and toxicity – is its brevity. Since its inception, the service has only allowed tweets to cap off at 140 characters. It means that usually, tweets require thoughtful consideration and nuance. Or just linking tweets together in a “tweetstorm” with a wilful disregard for other people’s timelines.

That’s changing. Twitter’s slowly rolling out an increase to the character limit, doubling the number of available characters from 140, to 280. According to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, the character limit was governed by SMS characters limits, which are now largely meaningless.

“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!”

I’m not sure how to feel about this. Sometimes I’ve had to trim down tweets to get their meaning across in the limited number of characters, but it’s helped me put through more thoughtful messaging. I think that this change will just lead to there a lot more unfiltered, thoughtless garbage on a platform that already has a problem of being a digital megaphone of stupidity and, worse, hatred.

In a blog post, Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen said that the platform hopes to maintain its brevity.

“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.”

This is the power of 280 characters at work though:

Last Updated: September 27, 2017

9 Comments

  1. Raptor Rants

    September 27, 2017 at 08:10

    Oh dear. Now people can hate on 2 fronts at once in a single tweet.

    Reply

    • Raptor Rants

      September 27, 2017 at 08:30

      Wait… This means I can hate on Battlefield AND on COD in one single tweet now?
      THIS WILL CHANGE MY LIFE!

      I can also praise Star Wars and hate Star Trek.

      Choose Marmite over Bovril.

      Tell Geoff to stop being grumpy and tell Darryn to put on his pants!

      The possibilities are ENDLESS!!!

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        September 27, 2017 at 09:31

        t(witter)tl;dr

        Reply

        • Raptor Rants

          September 27, 2017 at 10:04

          FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            September 27, 2017 at 10:16

            35x F’s, hehe, again with the 7’s and multitude of 7’s

  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    September 27, 2017 at 09:30

    Are they going to change their name to Twittier now?

    Reply

    • miaau

      September 27, 2017 at 10:40

      Film Moana, my daughter is obsessed with it, has this character that signs his name using a chicken. He says, if you use a bird to write, it is called tweeting.

      My randomness for the day.

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        September 28, 2017 at 10:40

        “this character”?! He has a name! Maui! Shapeshifter, demi-god of the wind and sea, hero of men (and women).
        You’re welcome.

        Reply

  3. Admiral Chief

    September 27, 2017 at 10:16

    Prepare for more k@k

    Reply

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