Twitter has officially doubled its character limit from 140 to 280, following a short test which showed longer tweets receive more engagement.
More specifically, Twitter is doubling the character limit in countries where “cramming was an issue.”
According to the company, cramming is not an issue in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese— therefore those languages will continue to have 140 character limits.
English, on the other hand, does lend itself to crammed tweets with 9% of English tweets hitting the previous 140 character limit.
”This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a Tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning Tweets before sending.”
During Twitter’s limited test of 280 character limits, it was found that users would tweet more than 140 characters when they needed to, but for the post part tweets remained brief.
According to Twitter’s data, just 5% of tweets were longer than 140 characters, and 2% were over 190 characters. Only 1% of tweets hit the 280 character limit during Twitter’s testing period.
Twitter emphasizes that a timeline full of extra-long tweets should not be a concern following this change.
”… your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline.”
That’s an interesting way to put it, actually. If we can expect to see the same amount of tweets, does that mean the expanded character limit did not encourage people to tweet more than they usually do?
With Twitter use on the decline, the company could really benefit from an update that gets people to use the service more often.
While the 280 character limit may or may not prompt people to send more tweets, data indicates that users will receive more engagement as a result of being able to send longer tweets.
”In addition to more Tweeting, people who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter.”
Twitter ultimately made this change in an effort to make it easier for people to tweet. The company will continue to listen to its community and make improvements according to user feedback.