It’s official. We’re going to 280. Now every Twitter user — from first-day users to President Trump — will have twice the room to share their thoughts.
Twitter confirmed Tuesday that it’s doubling its well-known character count for good, after a month or so of tests trying out longer tweets.
While many Twitter users reacted with horror to the tests, the company said in a blog post that the higher limit made people more likely to tweet, left just 1 percent of users hungry for more space and increased its “engagement” — an umbrella term for likes, replies and retweets.
Twitter originally hit on the 140-character limit as a nod to the character limits placed on early text messages, when it was founded in 2007. SMS messages had a 160-character limit, and Twitter wanted users to be able to post messages via phone, with enough room for a username. It became a hallmark of the service — an encouragement to craft short, sweet messages and contribute to the free flow of conversation that became Twitter’s main identifying feature.
But, Twitter said, while obnoxiously long messages weren’t flooding users’ timelines, the more verbose tweets did let people fire off messages faster and, the company believes, with less agonizing over each message. The tests showed that the feared negatives for Twitter did not come true, and the increased limits lets conversation flow faster — which means Twitter gets more use and can make more money.
So, it seems that 280 characters is good for business. And, in the end, that’s really what matters to Twitter.
The Express News