Life Tech Twitter announces it will test 280-character tweets
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Twitter announces it will test 280-character tweets

Twitter
Twitter faces further scrutiny in public hearings in November about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Photo: ABC
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Things are about to get a whole lot longer on Twitter.

The social media platform, famous for its 140 character limit, announced on Wednesday it will test a 280-character limit for tweets.

“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 (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean),” Twitter said in a blog post.

“We understand since many of you have been tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too.”

“But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.”

In a tweet, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey showed off the new limit would maintain the platform’s “brevity, speed and essence”.

“Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet,” he said.

Why did the original character limit exist?

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.

Twitter has already eased the original restrictions and doesn’t count photos, videos, polls and other things toward the character limit.

And users have found creative ways to get around the restrictions, including taking screenshots of blocks of text and highlighting relevant phrases.

The news didn’t go down well on Twitter

Plenty of users took the chance to question Twitter’s decision to increase the character limit while it still deals with complaints it doesn’t do enough to limit harassment.

Others wonder what the new limit would mean for the Donald Trump:

And the rest were just in it for the laughs:

Twitter said it would keep users posted about the trial, and if it decides to roll out the feature to everyone.