Twitter to test longer tweets to drive engagement

Twitter to test longer tweets to drive engagement

The update, if introduced to the masses, would be for all languages except Japanese, Chinese and Korean (which, the company says, typically require fewer characters to convey the same messages as other languages). "That is something we will never change".

The company declined to comment directly on how it's choosing those people or why it changed its mind about sticking to its 140-character limit.

Despite this, the social network has experienced stagnant or declining user numbers, a collapsing share price and revenue falling.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO, has already given us a taste of what to expect if this change does actually occur. However, since the service is still about brevity they didn't just lift character limit altogether and made a decision to go with 280, which is large enough for most people to now fit their thoughts within just one tweet.

Japanese Tweets are typically 15 characters versus English tweets, which have 34.

It also stopped counting images and other media attached to tweets as part of the character limit in an attempt to improve the service. The company announced on Tuesday that they're testing out a 280-character limit, pushing you closer and closer to writing that Twitter novel you've always dreamed of.

Indeed, 9% of all tweets in English hit the 140-character limit, while just 0.4% of tweets in Japanese do the same. We could still see a significant percentage of them riding this new limit, which might defeat the goal.

"We understand since many of you have been tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters - we felt it, too", says Rosen in the blog post.

It used data from Twitter's different languages to determine that when users run up against the character limit, they're less likely to tweet.

Due to these difference in various languages' outward brevity, the pilot test for the expansion applies to every one available on the platform except for Japanese, Chinese and Korean. As Business Insider notes, this isn't the first course correction as far as character limits go, with web links and images no longer eating into the count as of previous year. Instead, it resorted to alternative methods for packing more ideas into one post, like creating a link shortener, adding tweet quotes, and removing photos from the calculation.

It remains to be seen how users take advantage of this new limit.

It's true that some languages allow each character to count for more.

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