Everyone is getting 280 characters on Twitter

Image Source Twitter

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.

Users had also anxious that longer tweets would exacerbate Twitter's ongoing problem with harassment - more characters might mean more scope for abuse.

Twitter's latest move is a watershed moment for the publicly traded company, which posted better-than-expected earnings and revenue growth during its most recent quarter but struggled with sluggish user growth in more recent quarters. Others just want an edit button already.

Twitter claims that among the trial users "5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters". Long-form tweeting is now the standard for everyone, and the changes are in the process of rolling out to all users.

Interestingly, Twitter said that after the novelty of tweeting more characters wore off, most people in the test stopped tweeting the full length.

Twitter's character limit was created so that tweets could fit into a single text message, back when many people were using texts to receive tweets.

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The roll-out includes all languages except Japanese, Korean and Chinese.

"This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning tweets before sending". The company suggests the issue seemed more concerning to users because "people in the test got very excited about the extra space in the beginning and many Tweets went way beyond 140".

Gartner analyst Brian Blau said in September that he doubts that the change will have a major effect on what people post to Twitter.

Only five percent of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only two percent were over 190 characters.

But it noticed that people were giving up on Tweets when they couldn't cram the right words together.

"People did silly (creative!) things like writing 1 character per line to make their Tweets extra large".

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