In September, microblogging website, Twitter launched a test that expanded the 140 character tweets limit, so users around the world could express themselves easily in a Tweet. The goal was to make this possible while ensuring Twitter keeps speed and brevity .
So why is Twitter focused on doubling its character count to 280 characters from its original 140? On Tuesday, the company officially rolled out its character limit to 280 for all users worldwide , except for people tweeting in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese languages.
During the first few days of the test many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behavior normalized .We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained, Twitter’s Product Manager Aliza Rosen said in a blog post.
Historically, 9% of Tweets in English hit the character limit. 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. With the expanded character count, this problem was massively reduced – that number dropped to only 1% of Tweets running up against the limit. Since we saw Tweets hit the character limit less often, we believe people spent less time editing the characters in the composer. This shows that more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before. You can see this happening in the graph below, she said.
Initial concerns were that timelines may fill up with 280 characters , and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space. But that didn’t happen, according to Aliza , “Only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters. As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline. For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190 character Tweet”.