Twitter has announced that they are testing 280 character Tweets with certain accounts. Twitter is perhaps best known for their 140-character limit, which has been in place since the beginning, which would make this update (if it occurs) one of the biggest since the company started. This test is open ended, and there hasn’t been a lot of information released regarding which accounts are using it.
The accounts that are a part of this test, however, have already been given the permissions to use the 280 character limit, so users across Twitter may start seeing these types of posts. The test accounts are spread out over all the different languages except for Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. This is reportedly because a single character in these languages conveys twice as much information.
Aliza Rosen, a Twitter Project Manager, said, “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. Also, in all markets, when people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting.”
Many people have been requesting that Twitter increase the limit for years. The limit is really not followed anyway since people will just release a series of Tweets to convey the messages that they want to send. Of course, having a character limit is one of the things that sets Twitter apart from other social networks, so Twitter does need to be careful about giving that up too easily.