Twitter announced Tuesday that it is testing the expansion of its unique threshold from 140 characters to 280 characters.
The change is momentous given the limit is what makes Twitter fairly different from other social media platforms.
Can’t fit your Tweet into 140 characters?
We’re trying something new with a small group, and increasing the character limit to 280! Excited about the possibilities? Read our blog to find out how it all adds up. https://t.co/C6hjsB9nbL
— Twitter (@Twitter) September 26, 2017
“Trying to cram your thoughts into a Tweet – we’ve all been there, and it’s a pain,” Aliza Rosen, product manager for Twitter, and Ikuhiro Ihara, a senior software engineer, wrote on a blog post. “Interestingly, this isn’t a problem everywhere people Tweet. For example, when I (Aliza) Tweet in English, I quickly run into the 140 character limit and have to edit my Tweet down so it fits. Sometimes, I have to remove a word that conveys an important meaning or emotion, or I don’t send my Tweet at all. But when Iku Tweets in Japanese, he doesn’t have the same problem. He finishes sharing his thought and still has room to spare.”
Due to these difference in various languages’ outward brevity, the pilot test for the expansion applies to every one available on the platform except for Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
The new extension is only accessible to a small group of people right now as they explore the change and decipher whether its an idea good enough to be fully rolled out. (RELATED: Twitter Explains Why It’s Not Banning Trump)
The social media company has flirted with deep changes before. Twitter is testing a new feature that will allow users to write lengthy remarks by automatically splitting up their comments into separate posts, further empowering “tweet storms.”
It allegedly considered at one point expanding the 140-character limit to 10,000, but eventually nixed those plans. Twitter did decide to stop counting photos and links for the parameters last year, but has resisted other calls for extending its unique ceiling, at least until now.
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