Twitter character limit expands from 140 to 280 to encourage more English tweets

Twitter has become a thriving social media platform for brevity, with the company making changes all the time (such as the introduction of Twitter Lite earlier this year for less-than-stellar cellular data networks) to encourage growing participation by its growing user base.

While the company is famous for its 140-character limit, its brevity has proven to be a pain for English “Tweeters.” This week, Twitter Product Manager Aliza Rosen and Senior Software Engineer Ikuhiro Ihara took to Twitter’s official blog to announce the arrival of a new character limit for Twitter. Instead of the long-held 140-character limit, Twitter will now expand the character limit to 280 to help ease the frustration of cramming English expressions into 140 characters.

Rosen and Ihara state the motivation behind the character expansion: while English tweets must often be edited and reduced before posting, Japanese users don’t run into the same problem because “in languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.” The old 140-character limit has put English users at a greater disadvantage, with 9% of English users reaching the 140-character limit when tweeting as opposed to 0.4% of Japanese users reaching the same character limit.

The company says that it is rolling out this feature to a few users before releasing it to the entire Twitter community, so most users will have to wait a while. The new feature will see a mass release, though a dedicated timeframe hasn’t been mentioned yet.

What do you think of the new 280-character limit? English tweeters, excited or indifferent? Let us know if you’re experiencing the new character expansion in the comments below.