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#280characters – Big News from Twitter You Need to Know

  • 2
  • September 28, 2017

Twitter dropped a bombshell Tuesday, announcing a global test for some users that expands the character count on tweets from 140 to 280.

In a blog post announcement, Twitter Product Manager Aliza Rosen said, “We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean).

Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this.”

So, we want to know what YOU think about the possible doubling of tweets’ character counts in the comments section below.

280characters

Do you have an emotional attachment to the 140 character count?

Or would you be excited to be able to tweet more substance?

How do you think this will affect the platform in general? Positive, negative?

Media outlets like Mashable and TechCrunch have weighed in with their not so favorable opinions on the change.

And, not surprisingly, reactions are coming fast and furious on Twitter about the proposed change. Some positive, more negative and, of course, plenty of jokes.

Chatting with our CEO, Mike Kawula this morning, he stated he prefers shorter tweets but this change would not have a major impact on the platform one way or the other.

Instead, he would prefer to see more significant changes that would positively affect the user experience. Specifically, he’d like to see a continued emphasis on live streaming video on Twitter.

The strength of Twitter is commentary on what’s happening now and, in Mike’s opinion, live video and TV is the best way to embrace that.

So over to you. We want to know what you think about #280characters.

But even more so, we’d like to hear what other changes you’d like to see on the platform. What do you think would improve the experience on Twitter?

David Taylor shared his thoughts in a tweet:

Let us know in the comments section below your thoughts on #280characters and what other changes you’d like to see moving forward…

Author David Boutin

David is the Social Quant content Gatekeeper AND Keymaster, as well as a customer relations specialist.Follow and Connect with David on Twitter. 

More posts by David Boutin
  • I think #280characters is a good start. I would prefer to see a chance to edit Tweets, and more than 4 pics. I agree with you that Twitter is great for content in “the now” and the additional character count will help with that. Especially in Twitter Chats and just having that extra “buffer” means thoughts can be shared more meaningfully. Let’s see!

    • NinaCarmen Monroe

      Agreed on the Edit button, gosh how many times have I sent out a tweet only to realize (even after having looked for typos) that there is a typo. LOL I think the new character limit will also be helpful to those are connecting their content across platforms too. If you share almost anything via twitter from anywhere else, the shorter character limit often truncates even a small snippet. I’m looking forward to the change.

    • Hey Steve, interesting point on Twitter chats. I wonder how this will affect them. Surely easier to get your thoughts out but a lot of those are already like a firehose of tweets coming at you, not sure how easy it will be to keep up if most get twice as long. We shall see 🙂

  • ROSHINI

    I like it..I tweet a lot and very useful to grow a business…and for instant communication …no time lapse…loving it….the more characters the better as long as it does not spill over into the FULL REPORT stage.

    • I think doubling the character is more than enough. any more and as you say, will be like sharing full reports.

    • Hey Roshini! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Agree that it shouldn’t get out of control, else Twitter will cease to be Twitter IMO

  • Liz Hurst

    Nope, not for me. There is a skill involved in getting your point across as succinctly as possible. More characters allows people to be lazy with their language.

    • Amen to the DM issue! It’s not even worth it for me to pay someone to delete them. 99% of them are autoresponse nonsense and SPAM. Ugh. Sorting and bulk delete would be AMAZING!

      • Hey Laura! COMPLETELY agree about DMs – such a mess I rarely even venture into DMs anymore 🙁

    • Hey Liz, totally agree that more is less in terms of character count and lazy writing. LOVE edit of Jack’s tweet in post above 🙂

  • bobmorse

    I’ve already piped on several threads on Twitter. No likey. I think it will bloat the feed even more than it is. The current limit forces concision. Like writing a haiku or a limmerick. This need to write more is what blog posts and links are for. Maybe I’m just an old curmudgeon afraid of change. But I think it’s a gamble for Twitter where they are already struggling to grow and make money.

    • Hey Bob, totally agree that Twitter is playing with fire opening the door to a change like this. As evidenced on Twitter and in these comments, there are a lot of other changes I think people would be much happier with (edit feature seems to lead the way) 🙂

      • bobmorse

        I’m even skeptical of the edit feature. Though I’ve longed for it many times, personally. I think the errors left in perpetuity are part of Twitter’s peril and charm.

  • The Boss Boss

    I won’t read tweets of more than 140 characters

  • Trish Johnson

    As the saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. With the high
    volume of users & hangups that Twitter already experiences, doubling
    the character count is going to make it worse. The ‘world is trained’
    to say what they want in 140 or less, let it be. TIME is important to us
    all, long tweets won’t be read. More options with messages, pics, vids,
    etc., & making attaching live media fast & easy seems more
    useful to me.

    • NinaCarmen Monroe

      “the world is trained’? Clearly you haven’t been on it long. I remember when Twitter first came out and TONS of people complained they couldn’t get everything into so few characters. LOL How times change. If you don’t want or need the extra characters, don’t use them. It was a pretty arbitrary limit in the first place. Once they roll it out, in a few months people will hardly remember the difference.

      • @Adamitv

        Agree with you.
        The 280 characters are there if you need them. You can still use 140 characters

  • jacksdadinaz

    Hey David — thanks for the informative posts and for including other people’s opinions. my opinion is that most of us will probably still tweet pretty close to what we do right now, but that little extra is a nice buffer when you just can do Y24Y2Y&U2 stuff to make sense of things!! Wondering how the hashtag spam crowd will abuse it!

    • Great point on hashtags, I’m sure there will be even more abuse and annoyance on that front 🙁

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Mark S A Smith

    I’ve created more than 2,000 tweets in 140 with the limit driving creativity, much like writing haiku. Along the way, I’ve learned how to be precise and pithy. I’ll just keep it at 140 for now. 😉

    • @Adamitv

      I have tweeted 72 000 Tweets. I will love the freedom to tweet up to 280 characters

    • Hey Mark! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Agree that 140 makes for creative and concise tweets, just the way I like em!

  • I often bumped up against the limit and forced to get creative with my grammar. I managed, of course. I am thrilled to have a few extra character spaces with which to play! I am glad that they maintained a limit rather than turning it into a free-for-all. I absolutely agree with those that state a desire for more useful features and an emphasis on live video.

  • Marianne Petersen

    Great to get this info! At first I though 140 was not enough but now am thankful
    that’s all there is. People read short and sweet. Get to the point. If they need more, then
    they can just go to the website for more needed info.
    Or what about just a little bit more – say, total 180. Best of both worlds.

    Editing would be GOLD to be able to do. PLEASE! Too many ‘Oops. I left out the #” or
    “Darn it, wrong photo” thus leading then to taking it out and doing it all over again.

    • Hey Marianne! Yup, edit feature is clearly what people want…maybe someday 🙂 Cheers!

  • @Adamitv

    I would love the freedom to go up to 280 characters. Those who want shorter tweets can still have it shorter or longer. The longer tweets gives one the extra characters when you need that extra
    In addition it will be great to have:
    a) More than 4 Pics. Maybe even a carousel of slides
    b) Better quality videos
    c) More Poll Choices
    d) Polls with pics

    • Totally agree with your other suggestions. Carousel of images would be very cool! 🙂 thanks for reading and commenting!

      • @Adamitv

        Thanks

  • @Adamitv

    An edit button for Typos will also be good. Maybe the older unedited version could be saved as well

  • @Adamitv

    I would love better quality video. The snappyTV feature is good but it reduces the quality of my videos. Video is definitely a must

  • Bruce Roller

    What makes twitter unique for me is the 120 character limit. I NEED to read short, salient thoughts. If I want more information, hopefully you included a link to that.

    My biggest need is an edit button.

    • Hey Bruce, thanks for reading and commenting. You’re certainly not alone wanting that edit feature 🙂

  • Cristiano Amarelli

    Hi David,
    i’m not convinced of the need to increase the characters. I learnt to abstract my thought thanks to twitter, select the Hashtag, the tags etc. I can add images to communicate more, i have to be assertive and selective. The way i read twitter more frequently than Facebook is that in a look i understand. Probably i would add a section of deep tweet or an automatic fixing of long-acting tweets for tweets that reach more than X peoples. Another chance is to give the possibility to do X long tweet for year. (i.e. 1 for month so the tweeter has to choose when the thought is worthy to be extended).
    My best

    • Hi Cristiano! Interesting ideas, I wonder if they’ll implement something like only showing the first 140 and then a click more for the rest as with Facebook. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  • Hate the change. Twitter is about quick, concise info.

    • Hey Dave! You’re not alone. But, hey, maybe the won’t roll this out to everyone (I think they likely will with such a public test, but maybe not). Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  • Doubling the character length will reduce the number of tweets read by half…unless we are all going to double our time on Twitter?

    • Good point, Vincent! It will be interesting to see how if this affects impressions for users. You would assume if tweets are longer and less read, impressions will go down significantly. We’ll be watching the numbers (as we always do) 🙂

  • Dr. Helen Borel

    The Hippo Campus @TheHippoCampus7
    280 characters is a great idea. No more cutting imperative words which then
    water down my meanings. As a writer, I can use 280 characters to great effect,
    getting my message across accurately, without the hiccups necessitated by
    the terse 140 character limit. I pray Twitter opens this opportunity up to all of
    us Tweeple swiftly.
    I am Helen Borel,RN,MFA,PhD
    Writer of the Now-at-AMAZON
    Interactive BRAIN Book
    Fun Learning for Youngsters 8 to 88

    • Hi Helen! Thanks for reading and commenting. I would be surprised if this doesn’t roll out to everyone soon. With such a public announcement of the test, seems it would be difficult for Twitter to back out of this now, but we’ll see 🙂

      • Dr. Helen Borel

        Thanks for your feedback, DAVID. I forgot to mention
        the title of my new book, now at AMAZON.
        It’s “THE HIPPO CAMPUS”
        THE INTERACTIVE BRAIN BOOK: Fun Learning for Science Lovers
        For Youngsters 8 to 88
        (Mentioning it on Twitter will be facilitated with more
        characters for quality descriptive phrasing to my followers.)
        I’ve 3 Twitter accounts:
        @TheHippoCampus7
        @PsychDocConnect
        @Borelmedwriter
        Thanks, again, David Boutin, Helen B.

  • This already started? I can only get 140. Why?

  • Greg Schraff

    Don’t like the proposed bump in character count. 140, 280, 560 . . . where does it end? It basically ruins the integrity of the medium.

    • Hey Greg, you’re certainly not alone in that sentiment – at least they didn’t go with the 10K character limit that was being kicked around a while back, right?!

  • I will never understand why some companies screw around with a working formula??? Twitter’s brand is 140 characters. Everyone accepts Twitter as 140 characters so what play with this? The only “tweek” which was needed was not penalizing character count for adding an image, which Twitter took care of.

    • Hi Nick,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I think many agree with you. It will be interesting to see if this does in fact roll out to everyone after feedback is in.

  • The most beautiful, fully-qualified sentences I’ve ever read were longer than 140 characters — and simply would not have come across as immediately and profoundly impactful had they been required to be broken up into separate tweets. Furthermore, the lack of room for including important qualifying modifiers in one’s writing can and has lead to misunderstanding, readers taking offense, damaged relationships, and perhaps worse. An expanded limit of 280 characters may not save the world from nuclear annihilation, but, then again, it very well might!

    • Interesting perspective! I do tend to agree that some confusion may be saved with more characters 🙂

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