Twitter is testing 280-character tweets, double the current max

Key Points
  • Twitter is testing out 280-character limit tweets, doubling the standard 140-character length.
  • The company saw the shorter limit was " a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English."
  • Japanese, Chinese, and Korean characters will not get the extension because it is easier to say more in smaller amount of characters.
Twitter tests doubling character limit
Twitter tests doubling character limit

Twitter is experimenting with doubling the length of a tweet from 140 characters to 280 characters.

The company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday it was rolling out 280-character limit tweets to "a small group" of users who tweet in languages that may have had issues with trying to fit everything they want to say.

"We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too," Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen wrote. "But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint."

Shares of Twitter rose more than 1 percent in extended trading following the news, after declining more than 2 percent during the regular session.

Japanese, Korean and Chinese are excluded from the expanded tweets because the characters allow people to say a lot more with fewer characters. For example, Twitter saw that only 0.4 percent of Japanese character tweets have 140 characters, but 9 percent of all English letter tweets use the entire space. The average Japanese character tweet is 15 characters, but English writers use 34.

"Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese," Rosen said. "Also, in all markets, when people don't have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting – which is awesome!"

Twitter did not answer whether President Donald Trump will be given access to the longer tweets, but said the feature is going out to a "random sample," so it's certainly possible.

A tweet from CEO Jack Dorsey shows what the new character limit looks like.

Jack tweet