Twitter Cements The 280-Character Limit
Earlier in the year, Twitter announced that they were experimenting by doubling the Twitter maximum character limit from 140 to 280. This limit has now been made permanent. Twitter’s blog on the subject goes into great detail about how the team examined information showing how many Tweets were made that bumped into the 140-character limit before the experiment, and into the number of users who reached the 280-character limit during the experiment. Twitter explained that during the initial few days of the test, some users Tweeted to the full 280-character limit just because it was there, but after the initial honeymoon feeling, most users’ behaviour returned to normal.
One of Twitter’s concerns is that lots of users would continue to use the 280-character limit and so our timelines would be filled with double-length Tweets. Thankfully, this didn’t happen. Only 5% of Tweets were longer than 140-characters, and only 2% were over 190-characters. And those Tweets with either an image or a poll take up more space than a 190-character Tweet, anyway.
The long and short, then: a small number of people benefited from the ability to send extra long Tweets, at least some of the time. Most people, most of the time, probably didn’t even spot the change. On the Android official Twitter application, the character limit has been replaced with a circle icon that gradually fills the more you type. I hope that Twitter are still working on their Tweetstorm feature!