On Tuesday, Twitter announced that they would be testing 280-character tweets, doubling the previous 140-character limit. In a blog post, they said that while users tweeting in languages such as Japanese, Chinese, and Korean can convey a lot of information in just a single character, research showed that “the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English.”
“When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people tweeting — which is awesome!” the post read.
Many users, however, were immediately skeptical of the change. Some felt that Twitter was prioritizing character limits by overlooking long-running real issues on the platform, such as harassment, fake accounts, and trolling (which Twitter says they are working on).
Others couldn’t believe Twitter STILL hasn’t introduced an edit button for sent tweets.
And still others pointed out that the brevity of Twitter was the appeal, and compared longer posts to other social media sites.
Some made their point with visual gags.
A few users feared how the change could impact the controversial tweeting habits of President Trump.
But most people, including Ellen DeGeneres, just couldn’t help but get in on the joke of the moment.
Twitter heard the criticisms loud and clear, and has already responded. “We expected (and <3!) all the snark and critique for #280characters. Comes with the job,” CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted. “What matters now is we clearly show why this change is important, and prove to you all it’s better. Give us some time to learn and confirm (or challenge!) our ideas.”
Like most changes to the functionality of social media platforms, the new character limit will definitely take some getting used to — and Twitter is aware of that.
“We understand since many of you have been tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters — we felt it, too,” the company said in the blog post about the news. “But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.”
Whether and when the change will be rolled out across the board remains to be seen, but Twitter says they’ll keep us posted.
Do you like Twitter’s character count change? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photo via Bethany Clarke/Getty)