Twitter’s iconic 140-character limit for tweets may be on the way out. In the hope that it will encourage more people to post, Twitter is doubling the number of characters that some users get for a tweet. The test means that a small group of Twitter users will now get 280 characters per tweet instead of the traditional 140 characters.
Twitter’s character limit is a holdover from the app’s early days when tweets were sent as texts, which were limited to 160 characters. It has since become one of the product’s most defining characteristics. “When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting,” the company wrote.
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
Should be getting John Kelly’s resignation any second now.https://t.co/mzAxm27k22
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) September 26, 2017
Increasing @realDonaldTrump‘s ability to start nuclear war with just one tweet.
— 👓 Tom Wellborn (@TomWellborn) September 26, 2017