Twitter’s new character limit ‘avoids cramming’


Twitter’s decision to increase a post’s character limit from 140 to 280 characters aims to allow people to “express themselves easily in a Tweet”, according to a blog posted by the company this week.

More characters can still maintain the platform’s brevity trademark and yet avoid the cramming issue some people face.

Before launching this change, Twitter analyzed data and trends and spent less than two months testing the new limit.

According to the blog post, the new character limit allows for more engagement, allows for other languages to have their fair share, and makes it faster to tweet by allowing people to fit their thoughts quicker.

One of their findings is that Japanese and Korean characters can convey twice as much information as English characters and Chinese more than three times as much.

While 9% of tweets hit the 140 character limit, now only 1% of tweets hit the limit.

In Saudi Arabia, where users rank one of the highest Twitter consumers in the world, citizens debated the pros and cons of the announcement in the hashtag #Twitter in Arabic.

Some believed it would allow for talkative people to write “essays” and spam their newsfeed just like some do in WhatsApp groups. “It beats the purpose of brief posts that deliver concise messages,” said one tweet.

Those who celebrated the news mainly said it’s a positive feature that will allow for more content to be fit in posts.

Commenting on the topic, social media expert Sagr Khaled told Saudi Gazette: “It’s a skillful and innovative technique to express ideas. The new limit gave a boost in being able to express more in the space available.”

Twitter prioritized this move over others, he further said. “Just like Twitter first revolutionized social media with the hashtag, we’d like to see another tool that has the same effect.”

He added: “People are used to using similar tools across the different social media platforms. I would like to see Twitter adding more features like editing a post and tools in the search engine that Google uses like the QR code or +.”

What people are commenting about the new character limit:

· It avoids cramming

· It allows for more content per post

· There’s more space to mention, hashtag, or put a link

· It could encourage more inactive users who didn’t master the skillful art of tweeting in 140 characters to learn to tweet

· Languages other than English can have freer space

· Reading longer posts can be annoying

· Instead of choosing the most important thing to say, people might put all their thoughts in one post

· It loses its unique feature of concise content and will be similar to Whatsapp and other social media apps’ posts