Twitter decides to elaborate to the tune of 240 characters

Twitter, social media

Twitter users may no longer struggle to cram all their thoughts into one tweet, with the social media platform to trial a longer 280-character limit.

The longer limit, which Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen and senior software engineer Ikuhiro Ihara explained in a blog post “is only available to a small group right now”, doubles Twitter’s 140-character staple.

While some languages present more avenue for expression within the 140-character boundary, the social media platform says it wants “every person around the world to easily express themselves”.

Comparing Japanese and English language tweets, only 0.4% of tweets sent in Japanese utilise 140 characters, while in English this stands at 9% – with most Japanese tweets 15 characters long and most English tweets 34.

“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English, but it is not for those tweeting in Japanese,” said Rosen and Ihara.

Twitter has yet to reveal when the 280-character limit will be available to all.

“Although we feel confident about our data and the positive impact this change will have, we want to try it out with a small group of people before we make a decision to launch to everyone,” the two said.

“What matters most is that this works for our community — we will be collecting data and gathering feedback along the way. We’re hoping fewer tweets run into the character limit, which should make it easier for everyone to tweet.”

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