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Twitter Is Increasing The Character Limit From 140 To 280 To Bridge The Language Barrier


In the last two years or so, Twitter has made some changes to accommodate more tweets on the platform. By finally implementing its announcements last year to stop counting @replies in tweets earlier this year, but it didn’t stop there as they stopped counting attachments (photos, videos and quotes) from the count as well.

The latest though is that the microblogging site is now considering expanding its character limit from 140 to 280 and the reason for this is to allow you say more in languages that require more words for expression of views. So you would for example require more characters in the English language  to make the same expression as the Japanese.


In a blog post by Twitter’s Product Manager Aliza Rosen, she said “languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.” She added that. “We see that a small percent of tweets sent in Japanese have 140 characters (only 0.4 percent). But in English, a much higher percentage of tweets have 140 characters (9 percent). Most Japanese tweets are 15 characters while most English tweets are 34.”

The change is all about making all users happy regardless of language. But the 280 character test is limited to a small group of people at the moment and this is to help them gather feedback from them before a final decision on the new limit will be made.


Even Twitter understands that people may already be emotionally attached to the 140 character era but that people will be just as happy with 280 characters. “We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.”

While this may be a big leap, it’s still far below the rumoured 10,000 character limit which is what it applicable in the direct messages though.

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