Twitter expands new 280-character limit to all after trial showed little abuse

Twitter has announced all users are gaining access to the recently-trialled 280-character tweets, consigning the time-honoured 140-character limit to history.

Back in September, the firm rolled out the extra characters for certain sections of the user base, amid hefty criticism from those who cherished brevity.

There was also widespread concern over what damage the company’s most illustrious user could do with double the number of characters at his disposal.

However, in a blog post on Tuesday, Twitter said tests had shown trial users were not abusing the feature.

After an initial surge, the company said only 1% of tweets from users with access to 280 characters were reaching the limit, compared to 9% of tweets from accounts with 140-characters.

“We – and many of you – were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space, But that didn’t happen,” product manager Aliza Rosen wrote.

“As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of tweets in your timeline.

“In addition to more tweeting, people who had more room to tweet received more engagement, got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter. People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall.”

Users should begin seeing the new limits on mobile and the web imminently.

The shift doesn’t include Japanese, Korean and Chinese language users, who will remain at 140 characters.

Because of how those alphabets are structured, they’re already able to fit far more into a tweet than those using European languages.

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