Twitter in September conducted a test in which it doubled the character limit of a standard tweet from 140 characters to 280 characters for some users. The experiment must have gone well as the microblogging platform is now rolling the expanded capabilities out worldwide.
Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen said the change is coming to all languages where cramming was an issue. In analyzing tweets, Twitter previously found that some languages require a greater number of characters to convey a message. As such, Japanese, Korean and Chinese will continue to have 140-character limits because cramming isn’t an issue with these languages.
Rosen also notes that during the initial test, people utilized the full 280-character limit because it was new and novel. That soon wore off, however, and behavior normalized. When that happened, Twitter found that people who needed to use more than 140 characters could tweet more easily and often.
Most of the time, people tweeted below the original 140-character limit, thus maintaining the brevity for which Twitter is famous for. In fact, only five percent of tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only two percent exceeded 190 characters.
Twitter has struggled to attract new users as of late. Increasing the character limit could help the platform attract people that might otherwise have been put off by the restrictions. Only time will tell.