What Should You Know About Twitter’s #280Character Limit?

Twitter made enough waves last week in the social media industry with its announcement of testing the new character limit to tweet. And I believe it is serious about it.

The reasons it mentioned in its official blog seems to be a convincingly strong reason to me. We all know that Twitter is not growing after some point. And we have seen a lot of news coming through from the past two years on Twitter trying to sell off or going down kind. But it stayed and tried to incorporate more features like live video.


Little History On Twitter’s Character Limit:

Initially, when Twitter, founded in 2006, it restricte its character limit to 140 characters, keeping in mind the SMS communication. This idea of extending the character limit is there from 2015. Features like, not adding the character count of attached image or video and Quote tweet option along with ReTweet were from this thought of extending the 140 character limit.


Major reasons for extending the character limit:

  • There is a concern among a set people of not able to express their thoughts with right vocabulary and punctuation within 140 characters. We are often forced to remove the punctuation and grammar sometimes. Assuming the space constraint is conveyed to the reader.
  • Twitter’s strong, convincing reason was few languages need more characters to express their thoughts than few other languages. Like Japanese, Chinese, and Korean take only half the characters of other languages like English, Spanish or French.


Impact of the change:

  • It will definitely change the experience on Twitter. Especially for people who love and participate in Twitter Chats. We need to read two more lines of every tweet during the chat which is already heavy with opinions and thoughts.
  • But again, maybe, the total number of tweets it takes to express our thoughts during a discussion may reduce.
  • Our timelines don’t look the same anymore.
  • But I believe, it will help Twitter to penetrate more into language specific countries like France and Portuguese.
  • I am sure, people will easily adapt to the change and much faster than expected.


Few Tips:

  • Twitter is a quick and short piece of writing. It should/will remain the same. The majority of Twitter users like Twitter because of its ability to be quick in writing and consuming content. So, don’t use the 280 character space just because you have more characters. Only use when you feel the need.
  • Now you have more room to express your thoughts. So, while recommending a link to someone, don’t just tweet out the title or something like “Check out this something to get that something” Instead, take a few more seconds to write down why you want your audience to click on that link or listen to a video.


I Wish:

  • I wish Twitter concentrates more on its powerful features like Lists and advanced search and extend its ability or easier to use them.
  • I wish Twitter concentrates more on its improving native analytics and provide most wanted analytics – Hashtag analytics.
  • I wish Twitter comes up with the much better user interface on the web. I feel it is a mobile app interface, extended to the web but not suitable for the web.


Now, your turn.

Friends, I am eager to listen to your thoughts on this #280Characters and what more you want to see on Twitter.

Also, during the #RubhuSocial chat yesterday (Oct 3rd) We discussed the same and it turned out to be an interesting and insightful chat. Do check out the recap here.

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