If you’re a regular Twitter user, you’ll know that each tweet has a 140 character limit. While it’s one of the things that makes the platform what it is, it can be very annoying when you want to be a little more verbose.
To get round the character limit, many Twitter users write what they want to say in an external app and then screenshot the content before attaching it to their tweet.
In fact, Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey even used this method to talk about the platform’s 140 character limit at the start of last year:
— jack (@jack) January 5, 2016
Longer tweets have always been the subject of many debates on Twitter, and now it looks like we could finally see them come to fruition. A tweet today by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone hints that a new 280 character limit could be coming. It certainly seems that Twitter is at least testing such functionality, with a view to perhaps implementing it in the future:
Originally, our constraint was 160 (limit of a text) minus username. But we noticed @biz got 1 more than @jack. For fairness, we chose 140. Now texts are unlimited. Also, we realize that 140 isn’t fair—there are differences between languages. We’re testing the limits. Hello 280!
— Biz Stone (@biz) September 26, 2017
A quick check of the official Twitter blog reveals that the new 280 character limit is indeed being tested. The company says that it will affect all “languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean).”
This graphic from Twitter offers some explanation as to why the change is only aimed at certain languages:
Twitter is hoping that the new longer character limit will encourage existing users to tweet more and attract new people to the platform.
While some Twitter traditionalists might not embrace the change with open arms, it is, nevertheless, an update that will transform how we all tweet.
A longer character limit should not be seen as an opportunity to spam, but it definitely will allow us all as social media marketers to express ourselves more freely and tag a few more relevant people in our updates.