The test is being made available to a small subset of users and applies to languages other than Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. That’s because in those languages, Twitter notes, you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in others.
The original 140-character limit was created so tweets would fit in a single text message back when people used Twitter that way. But most people now use Twitter through its mobile app, where there isn’t the same technical constraint.
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
Twitter’s product manager Aliza Rosen said: “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.”
Ms Rosen stressed that Twitter was still about brevity, adding: “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.”
Earlier this year, the social media site removed character limits from Direct Messages sent privately between users.
It also stopped counting images and other media attached to tweets as part of the character limit in an attempt to improve the service.
— Love Belfast ❤️ (@love_belfast) September 26, 2017