After over a decade of complaints from Twitter users about how thoughts can’t be expressed within the range of just 140 characters, Twitter finally took notice and action. This feature expansion is fundamental as it remained unchanged since 2006, until now.
Previously, Twitter announced its plan to expand beyond its 140-character limit. In September, the social networking site launched a trial and made the expansion available to only a limited number of users. The expansion will apply to all languages except Chinese, Korean, and Japanese as these languages require the use of fewer words.
Despite the significant change implemented which many find positive, it still met opposition. Some users complained that the increase in the character limit makes Twitter more difficult to read as more expanded tweets fill their timelines. Also, others argue that the original 140-character limit encourages more concise content rather than unnecessarily lengthy ones.
According to data gathered by Twitter, only 5 percent of the tweets hit the character limit after the 280-character test. On the other hand, only 2 percent of the tweets were over 190 characters.
In line with the recent change, Twitter updated its rules and policies to implement stricter and more explicit ones with regard to threats, harassments, and adult content.
The company stated that its goal in expanding the character limit is to allow people around the world to express themselves more easily in a tweet. In line with this, Twitter will also ensure that the speed and brevity of the social networking site are maintained. With the data gathered and analyzed, the company believes that it has achieved its goal.
The recent change came as a surprise as Twitter previously expressed opposition to the idea of expanding the character limit. Last year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that he thinks that the 140-character limit was “a beautiful constraint” and that it will stay for good. Dorsey also said, “It’s a good constraint for us, and it allows for of-the-moment brevity.”
With the new update, Twitter will no longer show a countdown of the number of characters left as you type. Instead, a circle will appear and fill in as you approach the limit. The number of characters left will only appear when the user has only 20 characters remaining.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Images]