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280 Is The New 140: Twitter To Double Character Limit


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News came late yesterday that Twitter was doubling its character limit to 280. Various sources call it a test, a beta and a slow rollout. But whatever the pace of the character expansion, it's clear that 280 is about to become the new 140 on Twitter. 

Can’t fit your Tweet into 140 characters?

We’re trying something new with a small group, and increasing the character limit to 280! Excited about the possibilities? Read our blog to find out how it all adds up. https://t.co/C6hjsB9nbL

— Twitter (@Twitter) September 26, 2017

Twitter is doubling the the number of characters it allows in each Tweet, CEO Jack Dorsey and his teamed announced yesterday. While still in a test phase, many users are already able to expand their tweets.

Language differences are site as a major reason for the expansion.

Stats show that a small percent of Tweets sent in Japanese have 140 characters (only 0.4%). But in English, a much higher percentage of Tweets have 140 characters (9%). “Most Japanese Tweets are 15 characters while most English Tweets are 34. Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English," according to team Twitter, “but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese. Also, in all markets, when people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting."

Twitter's user growth has stalled dramatically in the last year, even as Facebook, Instagram and other social networks have continued to soar.  So, twice the characters is just the start of what is likely to become a flood of experimentation on the still popular platform.

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