Update, 09/27: Following the recent small-scale Twitter test that lets users tweet up to 280 character messages, a Twitter user with the handle Prof9 has come up with a workaround to let anybody access the expanded tweets. This was pointed out by The Verge earlier today, and it’s actually pretty easy to do.
First must install the Tampermonkey Chrome extension on desktop, then head to this Github page and tap the “raw” button on the right. Hit the “install” button in the new Tampermonkey tab that pops up and, when using Twitter with the script running, your tweets should have access to the new limit (note that I had to hit the “reinstall” button that replaces the “install” button once to get this to work). Try it out for yourself and enjoy those big tweets.
Original story, 09/26: The most fundamental rule for tweet posts on Twitter may be about to change. The social network announced today it has started a small public test that allows a few of its users to go beyond the current 140 character limit for tweets, allowing them to go as high as 280 characters.
While Twitter has put in exceptions for its 140 character limit over the years, most notably for direct messages, it has never allowed public tweets to go beyond that 140 character barrier. In a blog post today, Twitter stated that, according to its data, about 9 percent of its English users reach that character limit for tweets. That statistic suggests some users hit that upper barrier and may have edited their message so it can safely hit that 140 character limit.
The blog post also points out that in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, characters in those languages can actually convey as much as double the information compared to characters in English and other languages. In addition, the company’s data suggests that more people use Twitter if they don’t have to hit that 140 character barrier.
Even though it is now testing this new 280 character limit for tweets, Twitter does say that its fundamental goal of allowing people to express themselves quickly and to the point will never change. It also says that while many Twitter users may have an “emotional attachment” to the current character limit, it says it has now fallen in “love with this new, still brief, constraint.” There’s no word yet on when this change will be rolled out to all Twitter users.
If this change is actually made, it’s likely because Twitter wants to attract more users. While it gets a ton of media attention, largely because the 45th President of the United States uses it daily to communicate, its latest numbers show it has “just” 328 million active monthly users, which is well below that of its main rivals Facebook (2 billion monthly users) and Instagram (800 million monthly users).
How do you feel about this huge change that may be coming soon to all Twitter users? Do you like the idea of having double the amount of characters to express yourself, or do you think the current 140 character limit should stick around? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!