Twitter doubles its character limit

Social media marketers could soon be getting chattier if a pilot of 280-character tweets gets rolled out across Twitter.

Twitter has started to test the larger character limit with selected profiles. This is double the old limit and, if it goes ahead, is a significant change for social media marketers to think about.

Got more to say?

These latest tests come as part of an effort to allow “every person around the world to easily express themselves”.

“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English,” Twitter explained in a blog post. According to their research, 9% of all tweets in English max out the 140 character limit, which could be putting people off. In Japanese, where fewer characters convey more meaning, only 0.4% of tweets reach 140 characters. As a result, there are far more tweets.

Rumours about a change to the character limit have been running wild in recent years. The scent of change was certainly in the air in 2016, when Twitter tweaked it’s timeline by introducing an algorithm to replace the previous chronological one.

More recently, Twitter removed additional assets from being included in the 140 character count. This meant users could attach photos, videos or other assets without them counting towards the character limit.

Time to let go?

But not everyone is eager to abandon the beloved 140-character limit, a fact Twitter has also addressed.

“We understand, since many of you have been Tweeting for many years, [that] there may be an emotional attachment to the 140 characters – we felt it too”, the company wrote.

“But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this with you today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next.”

At the moment, those using social scheduling tools such as Hootsuite will be unable to test out the increased limit. This is because the character count is yet to be updated to accommodate the recent changes.

We will now have to wait and see whether Twitter chooses to fully roll out the new ‘super size’ tweets.