It’s official. We’re going to 280. Now every Twitter user – from first-day users to President Donald Trump – will have twice the room to share their thoughts.
Twitter on Tuesday confirmed that it is doubling its iconic 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, Twitter said in a blog post that the higher limit made people more likely to tweet, left fewer than 1 percent of users hungry for more room and increased “engagement” – its umbrella term for likes, replies and retweets.
(For those having trouble visualizing the difference, the second paragraph of this article has 140 characters; the third has 280.)
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.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Hayley Tsukayama