×

Twitter Now Lets Everyone Send 280-Character Tweets

After testing longer tweets with a subset of its users for the past two months, Twitter is now officially making 280-character tweets available to everyone. The changes should be available to all of the service’s users effective immediately, but a company spokesperson cautioned that it could take up to two hours to take effect in all apps around the globe.

Twitter is exempting tweets in Chinese, Korean and Japanese from the new character limit, arguing that these languages already made it possible to put a lot more information into 140 characters.

However, the company decided to not rely on a user’s system language or location to implement these varying limits. “Many people live in foreign countries or travel regularly,” explained Twitter product designer Josh Wilburne in a blog post. “Additionally, many people tweet in multiple languages, sometimes within a single tweet.” That’s why Twitter ultimately decided to detect the language of each and every tweet on the fly. The remaining character limit will be displayed with a combination of visual and numeric cues.

twitter new character counter

Twitter fully expects people to go a bit crazy once they get access to 280 characters, which is exactly what happened when the company first started testing the feature in September. “People in the test got very excited about the extra space in the beginning and many tweets went way beyond 140,” wrote Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen in a blog post Tuesday.

“People did silly (creative!) things like writing just a few characters per line to make their tweets extra large,” she continued. “It was a temporary effect and didn’t last long. We expect to see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week’s launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after.”

After things calmed down, only 5% of the tweets sent by people with access to the feature during the recent test had more than 140 characters. Only 2% of tweets had more than 190 characters. On the flip side, people with access to longer tweets were more engaged, and tweets with more characters actually received more likes on average than tweets with fewer characters during the company’s tests.

What’s more, users with access to 280-character tweets ultimately spent more time on the service — a metric that should make investors happy. Speaking of which: Twitter decided to release the new feature minutes before competitor Snap was scheduled to release its Q3 earnings report.

 

More Digital

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Shuts Down Controversial Ovano VPN App

    Responding to a continued backlash over its data collection practices, Facebook pulled the plug on its Ovano VPN app Friday. Ovano, which promised users an added level of privacy while using public Wifi hotspots, was used by Facebook for market research purposes. Facebook removed the app from the Google Play store Friday, and the company [...]

  • Smosh

    Smosh Acquired by Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment

    UPDATED: Smosh, the long-running YouTube comedy brand, has been acquired by Mythical Entertainment, the company formed by Rhett & Link, hosts of comedy show “Good Mythical Morning.” As first reported by Variety last week, Mythical emerged as the leading candidate to buy Smosh, which was left stranded after parent company Defy Media shut down without [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • att_logo

    AT&T Suspends YouTube Ad Spending as Boycott Over 'Pedophilia' Videos Scandal Widens

    AT&T, one month after it thought it was safe to advertise on YouTube again, said it is pulling all advertising spending from the world’s biggest video platform. The telco joins a boycott by marketers alarmed by the discovery that a secret group of child predators has been using YouTube to make sexual comments about kids. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content