Social media is changing… and we’re not just talking about the advent of new platforms like Sarahah and Kik, the platforms we know and love are changing as well. We’ve already seen Facebook hit publishers with decreased reach, as well as increased investment toward video content, and Instagram is heavily rumored to be trying out a new 4×4 grid to replace their classic 3×3 tile look. Now, Twitter is testing out a 280-character limit in a select subset of users, doubling the current 140 limit.
The announcement was made today in a blog post by Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen and senior software engineer Ikuhiro Ihara.
“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).”
9 percent of tweets in English will reach the 140 character limit, causing users to omit linguistically important information, or just not send the tweet at all. Compare that to just 0.4% of tweets that reach the character limit in Japanese, and you’ll see why the trial is taking place. (Most Japanese Tweets are 15 characters while most English Tweets are 34.)
“Twitter is about brevity. It’s what makes it such a great way to see what’s happening. Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter. That is something we will never change.”
The trial will take place and Twitter will collect data from users before permanently implementing the change and going wide with it across its platform. For now, you may see some strangely long tweets, and you might feel left out, but it’s okay – you will probably just have to wait your turn.