Twitter expands tweets to 280 characters in most languages

  • Twitter is rolling out the 280-character limit to languages affected by space limitations.
  • Chinese, Japanese and Korean won't get the longer lengths because its easier to say what you want with fewer characters.

Most languages will now have twice as many characters to say what they want on Twitter.

The company announced on Tuesday in a blog post that it was rolling out the 280-character limit to all languages where "cramming" characters was an issue. The length is twice as long as Twitter's current 140-character limit.

Twitter first experimented with allowing longer tweets in September. The change was made to give people more space to express themselves in certain languages where the company felt the 140 restriction was limiting. However, Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters were not given expanded character limits because it is easier to say something in a succinct space, Twitter said.

Users will see the change roll out over the next few days, Twitter said.

The company said 9 percent of English letter tweets hit the 140 character limit, which leads to more people editing their tweets or not sending them at all. When it expanded the limit to 280, only 1 percent of tweets had this issue. It also saw people with the longer character limits have more likes, retweets and mentions, get more followers and spend more time on the platform.

Not everyone was using the extra space: Only 5 percent of tweets were longer than 140 characters and just 2 percent went over 190. It doesn't expect people's timelines to change much in the long run, but they might push the boundaries for a bit.

"It's worth emphasizing again that people in the test got very excited about the extra space in the beginning and many Tweets went way beyond 140," Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen wrote.

"People did silly (creative!) things like writing 1 character per line to make their Tweets extra large. It was a temporary effect, and didn't last long. We'll definitely see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week's launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after."