07 Nov Doubling of the Word Limit from 140 to 280 Characters, by Twitter.
With about 330 million monthly active users around the world, twitter has now taken a new step of doubling the word limit of its tweets. Launched in 2006, the average word limit of twitter was 140 characters. But now the company has decided to increase the word limit and make it double to 280 characters per tweet.
Twitter explained in a blog post why it decided to make the tweak permanent: 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
Twitter said it proved that the extra space made it easier for users to “fit thoughts in a tweet”.
As a result of the greater character limit, Twitter believe users spent less time editing their tweets in the composer and therefore could say what they wanted to say faster than before. The cramming issue of tweets could in-return decrease too.
“In September, we launched a test that expanded the 140-character limit so every person around the world could express themselves easily in a tweet,” said Aliza Rosen, Twitter’s product manager.
“Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter.” She continued.
“Twitter is looking to increase revenue and entice new users amid the ongoing battles with Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.” Miss Rosen Added.
This doubling liability is restricted to languages like Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Twitter explained the reason. Compared to English, cramming for these languages is not an issue because those scripts can convey more information in a single character.
The company says Asian languages fit more thoughts into fewer characters; the average length of a tweet in Japanese is 15 characters per tweet.
But there is another side of the story as well, expanding the character limit risks disrupting the fast-moving, real-time nature of the site, encouraging people users to post more expansive paragraphs where they once might just have posted a few words and a link. This could be especially true of Twitter’s large and noisy class of people, who live to explain the day’s events through voluminous threads. When the change was announced, many criticized it, pointing out changes they would rather see, such as a crackdown on hate crime and bots, and the introduction of a chronological timeline and edit function.
“We – and many of you – were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280-character Tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space,” Rosen said.
But did the change serve its purpose?
“That didn’t happen, she added. Only 5% of tweets sent were longer than 140 characters, while only 2% were over 190 characters, 90 below the new limit.
“As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of tweets in your timeline.” Rosen concluded.
So is the change fruitful? Well that decides on user to user. So why not try and see for yourself!