Twitter’s contrast a 280-character extent for tweets


You might be means to contend twice as many per chatter as we could before, shortening a need for threads. (Mary Turner/Getty Images)

Twitter arch executive Jack Dorsey final year done a decisive proclamation about a company’s famous 140-character count amid rumors that a organisation would almost relax a limit. “It’s staying,” Dorsey told a “Today” show’s Matt Lauer. “It’s a good imprisonment for us.”


On Tuesday, a association took it behind — for some people, during least.

Starting Tuesday, Twitter said, it’s contrast a underline to let some users double a volume of characters allowed in a tweet. The 280-character extent will be accessible to a tiny organisation of people on a site. When asked for some-more information, Twitter pronounced it would be a “single-digit percentage” of a 328 million users — so, millions —  who will be “randomly chosen.”

The association declined to criticism directly on how it’s selecting those people or because it altered a mind about a 140-character limit. But in a company blog post, product manager Aliza Rosen and comparison program operative Ikuhiro Ihara pronounced a organisation started looking into a restrictions of a 140-character extent after noticing differences among languages.

Some languages — privately Chinese, Japanese and Korean — concede for larger countenance in fewer characters, Rosen and Ihara said.

“We see that a tiny percent of tweets sent in Japanese have 140 characters (only 0.4%). But in English, a many aloft commission of tweets have 140 characters (9%). Most Japanese tweets are 15 characters while many English tweets are 34,” a post said.

The 280-character test will hurl out in all languages solely for Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

It’s loyal that some languages concede any impression to count for more. My possess final name, Tsukayama, is 9 letters in English; phonetically in Japanese, it’s 4 letters. If we use Japanese kanji characters, it’s three.

But Twitter users in other languages have found workarounds to bypass a 140-character limit. It’s common to see someone send out a thread, or “Twitterstorm,” by signaling that their thoughts are going to come in several bite-sized chunks — i.e., typing 1/6 to note a initial installment of 6 associated tweets. Twitter itself did this Tuesday morning, when addressing because it hasn’t dangling President Trump from a platform.

Dorsey himself has used a common workaround — posting an picture of longer content — to get around a impression limit, even while extolling a virtues of abruptness early final year.

It’s startling that Twitter would revisit such an constituent partial of a network, generally after definitively saying a 140-character extent would remain. And, judging by a post, a association clearly expects recoil (perhaps after saying a greeting to the rumors Dorsey felt compelled to residence on a “Today” show).

“Although we feel assured about a information and a certain impact this change will have, we wish to try it out with a tiny organisation of people before we make a preference to launch to everyone,” a blog post said. “We know given many of we have been tweeting for years, there might be an romantic connection to 140 characters — we felt it, too. But we attempted this, saw a energy of what it will do, and fell in adore with this new, still brief, constraint.”

Despite a large announcement, Twitter is being flattering still about how this will demeanour to a bland Twitter user — how likely users are to see a underline on their possess accounts, a accounts of others in their timeline or, perhaps, in a hands of a certain tweeter-in-chief.

But one thing that’s telling: Rosen and Ihara pronounced that “in all markets, when people don’t have to squeeze their thoughts into 140 characters and indeed have some to spare, we see some-more people tweeting — that is awesome!”

In other words, Twitter has found that stealing this pain indicate — even if it means giving adult something that has been core to a temperament — can assistance it strech some-more people who will afterwards use a product more. And, ultimately, that’s what Twitter has been seeking for years: a approach to benefit some-more users and to make a quirky ways easier to understand.

Year by year, a amicable networking site has done changes to urge a usability, including tweaking a approach timelines work, as good as modifying its manners to forestall images, videos and GIFs from counting opposite a series of characters in a tweet. Not all of those changes have been welcomed by a many clinging users; Twitter has also reversed process because of user complaints. With this test, Twitter is elaborating once some-more in a office of new users. It’s a company’s biggest step divided from a past yet.

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