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Twitter, the popular micro blogging site, announced on Tuesday its test project to allow tweets to be expanded to 280 characters. This is double the existing limit of 140 characters.

Twitter says this system aims to address “a major cause of frustration” for many users. A “small group” of users will see the new limits before Twitter decides on rolling out the changes more broadly.

“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)’, says product manager Aliza Rosen and software engineer Ikuhiro Ihara said in a blog post.

Twitter planned to leave the old limit in place for tweets in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean because internal data showed written characters in those languages packed plenty into the allotted space.

“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English, but it is not for those tweeting in Japanese,” Rosen and Ihara said.

This move by twitter to increase its character limit to 240 has drawn some skepticism by users.

Interestingly, Twitter, which became a public company in 2013, has never reported a profit though widely used. Despite its popularity, Twitter’s growth has been pretty slow compared to the social network leader Facebook, which has some two billion users, and Facebook-owned Instagram, with 800 million.

In its most recent quarter, Twitter reported its base of monthly active users was unchanged at 328 million compared to the first three months of the year and up just five percent from a year earlier. It also reported a net loss of $116 million in the second quarter, slightly wider than its $107 million loss a year ago

Will people have the patience to read longer tweets? is twitter shooting itself in the foot? Share your thoughts and rop your comments


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Adaora is the founder of Techcultureng.com. When she is not trying to save the world, she loves to write and rock her heels.

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