Twitter for the first time is expanding beyond its 140-character limit. The social network says it will now try out a longer limit of 280 characters in select languages – double the existing limit – in the latest effort to boost flagging growth at the social network. Twitter character set to change. Twitter said that it would test extending the text limit of a post on its service to 280 characters.
Twitter said the aim was to eliminate what it viewed as constraints that kept people from tweeting more frequently. According to internal research of Twitter, one significant barrier has been the stringent limit on character count.
The company says that, “When people don’t have to cram thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people tweeting.” It is a significant moment for the 11-year-old twitter; which has been trying to figure out how to change the social media services without alienating the people who have embraced its short format.
The idea of extending the length of Twitter posts has been contentious internally, batted around among product groups that are trying to find ways to persuade people to use the services more frequently. At 328 million users, it has been criticized for its inability to attract more people. It realized the character count limitation more heavily impacted those tweeting in some languages – like English, Spanish, Portuguese or French – as compared with others, like Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Investors have grown nervous, as that slowing of user growth has affected the company’s revenue.
Last year, They tried extending its character count by allowing people to post photos and GIFs without counting them against the overall character limit. With Twitter’s ability to host photos, GIFs, polls, video and quoted tweet, it needed away to allow users to host both post media and their thoughts, all in the same tweet. It also toyed with longer posts exceeding 140 characters, until criticism from users proclaim that the limit was here to stay. Twitter is now preparing for a backlash from those who might take issue with a 280-character tweet. The negative reaction was swift. Some on Twitter proclaimed it a “terrible idea.”
The test will begin in small groups around the world. The company has not said whether it will roll the change out to all users in the future. Twitter says the 280 character count will initially be available to a small, randomized but representative group of their users on iOS, Android and desktop web.
In the end, “Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter.” Twitter said of the tweet test. “Twitter is something we will never change.”
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