large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Twitter reveals biggest ever change — and you’ll get 280 characters to complain

The days of limiting your stream of consciousness to 140 character tweets may be numbered. In a surprise announcement late on Tuesday, the social network announced an experiment that doubles the text limit to 280 characters.

The feature will initially be enabled for a small sample of users before a potential rollout to the entire community.

“We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter,” the company wrote.

So why now? Well the company says the character limit has become “a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English.”

The firm compared it with Japanese users who, due to their written language, are able to fit much more into a tweet than us Brits.

For example, the firm says only 0.4% of tweets in Japanese fill out the 140 character limit, whereas 9% of tweets written in English do.

Twitter has introduced various ways to make 140 characters go further, like eliminating URL links and pictures from the count.

However, a sizable proportion of users have previously railed against rumored plans to increase the character count. Today, the company said it is aware of the ‘emotional attachment’ some users have to the current character limit.

“Twitter is about brevity,” the post reads. “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. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.”

The reaction so far, as you might expect, hasn’t been entirely positive. Here’s a few to chew on:

What do you make of Twitter’s decision to play with the character limit? Drop us a line in 140 characters @TrustedReviews on Twitter.


Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.