Twitter to Test a New 280-Character Limit for Tweets - The Search Marketing Shop

Twitter may eventually be upgrading from its 140-character limit for tweets. If company CEO, Jack Dorsey’s latest tweet is to be believed, the micro-blogging site is finally going to take the highly anticipated step. And in all probability the new tweet character limit is going to 280.

Goal Behind the New Tweet Character Limit

According to Twitter, increasing the character limit can help in encouraging more people to tweet, thus increasing the site’s engagement levels. The company has announced that it will be running the new character limit as a test for some of its users.

According to Twitter’s CEO, the 140-character limit was based on the character limit for SMS, which was set at 160. Many times users are unable to include words that matter a lot in terms of emotion and meaning. In fact, not being able to include just one more word can prevent many users from tweeting altogether.

With the new limit, people will no longer have to stuff their thoughts into a single line.

Earlier Attempts

Twitter has long been speculating to increase its controversial 140-character limit, but without any results. A year ago Twitter was considering increasing the tweet character limit to thousands of characters, but it didn’t see the light of day. There have been just minor updates since then but they didn’t matter much. Some such changes included excluding the following from being counted:

  • Usernames
  • Images
  • Some types of URLs

Eventually, Twitter is taking real action in this direction and allowing some of its users to test a 280-character limit.

Twitter’s Research Findings

Some of the findings from Twitter’s research on the subject are as following:

  • Users in certain languages such as Japanese would create tweets that don’t need to touch the tweet limit, but this was not true for those who tweeted in English
  • Only 0.4% of the tweets touch the 140 character limit in Japanese
  • 9% of the tweets in English reach the full limit
  • Research found that a significant percentage of users tweeting in English were frustrated due to the character limit

According to Twitter, it will be collecting data from the new tests (involving 280-character limit) before a general release across its entire user base. The test group will be selected on a random basis.

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