Twitter has finally announced that it is increasing its character limit from 1040 to 280. Back in September, we reported that Twitter was trialing longer Tweets of 280 characters.
Twitters Official line at that time was:
Giving you more characters to express yourself
We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean).
Twitter Increases Character Limit To 280
Today they announced via the Official Twitter Blog that after collecting all the data to come out from the trial that they would be increasing the Tweet character length, except for countries whose native tongue is Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Read more here Tweeting Made Easier
When the Twitter character limit experiment started members were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character Tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space. But data released shows that this didn’t happen during the trial period.
As you can see from the graphic below, only 5% of Tweets post were longer than the old 140 character limit and only 2% were exceeded 190 characters.
This data confirmed that members timelines would not adversely be affected by increasing the Twitter character length. But what we have to remember here is that the trial was conducted by a select group of “REAL” Twitter users. It remains to be seen what happens when the spammers and bot creators get their hands on the expanded limit.
When is a Tweet not a Tweet?
It is good to remember what exactly Twitter is. Twitter is a micro-blogging social site, founded on the 21 March 2006. It was created on the premise that members could send tiny bite-size chunks of text as Tweets.
There has been some backlash in changing the character length with many questions asked. When does a Tweet become a post? for example, or are they one and the same thing?
Well for die-hard Twitter fans, Tweets are Tweets and not posts. Only having 140 characters is what has made Twitter different and this change has angered some as they feel they are moving away from what they have grown to know and love.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had this to say on the 27th of Sept after the initial backlash
We expected (and love !) all the snark & critique for 280 characters. Comes with the job. What matters now is we clearly show why this change is important, and prove to you all it’s better. Give us some time to learn and confirm (or challenge!) our ideas.
One question we have is does the expanded character length now push back or even extinguish the Tweetstorm feature that is reportedly under development?
So you got 280 characters, how do you use them?
Well, nothing much has really changed, your now free to really say what you want to say without cramming in your words or leaving out punctuation or just abbreviating. Now you have space to work with, which for us is pretty cool. More characters equals more engaging tweets
Here is what you don’t do
Twitters new 280 character limit is now not an excuse to write four words and then use 240 characters on hashtags. All that is going to do is to get you labeled as a spammer and lose you Twitter followers
Here is what you can do
Marketers and those who just want to say more have an opportunity here to do exactly that, just say more. Just because you have 280 characters doesn’t mean you have to use them all. The new limit gives you huge benefits outside of Twitter. If you have an idea on how to set up your Twitter SEO then being able to use more real genuine keywords within longer Tweets will only increase everyone’s visibility in the SERPS.
Twitter Increases Character Limit To 280 – Conclusion
We are big users of Twitter here at Infobunny. It’s a quick turn around social channel for us that is now as a result of the changes giving us and everyone else more value for using the system. Use the changes to your benefit by adopting good practices and you will see the results. Twitter just made Twitter better, in our opinion 😉
Now it’s over to you. What do you think about Twitter changing its character limit?
Is it a good idea or bad?
Have your say in the comments below!
Really A Great Initiative By Twitter.
Thanks for writing this great piece of work.
Well – first thought is, great, because I did struggle with 140 character tweets, especially when I was including a url to a blog post.
Second thought was exactly what you said – don’t fill it up with hashtags. They are SO annoying LOL
Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark
Wasil Ansari | Tech2Hack
I maybe late to comment here but, this is the best thing twitter has done ever, wait, but changing the UI back then was also a good move for twitter.
Yes the extra space is very useful.
Thats a great step by Twitter.