Twitter announced yesterday that all users will now be able to use 280 character limit for tweets, an increase from its earlier limit of 140 characters. It made this announcement via a blog post by Aliza Rosen.
Earlier in September, Twitter had test run the new character limit with a few users. Part of the reasons why Twitter decided to extend the increase to all users was to help English users of twitter who had more constraints. For skeptics, Twitter also revealed that the new character limit led to better engagement
‘People who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter. People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall.’
However, some members of the Twitterati community responded with an ‘All we wanted was an edit button’
I personally can share in their pain as it is really annoying and painful that sometimes you have to delete an entire post just because there is no edit button to edit mistakes. As in, what is the logic behind the ‘no edit’ button policy int he first instance? Who designs something where people can write opinions without an edit button?! We put up a poll on Twitter to see whether users prefer an edit button or #280characters and at the time of publication, 83% of participants preferred an edit button. Take part in the poll here
For users who are concerned that Twitter will lose its essence via its increased character limit, Twitter has expressed belief that users will still keep posts short and sweet
‘During the first few days of the test many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behavior normalized (more on this below). We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained.’
Not all languages have the doubly increased character limit though. Japanese, Korean, and Chinese will continue to have 140 characters because according to Twitter, cramming is not an issue in these languages.
What are your thoughts on the new character limit? How do you think it will affect their user experience? Would you have preferred an edit button? Take our poll here
Adaora Okoli is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TechcultureNG. You can reach her on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com