This had to happen; Twitter has for the first time increased its character limit to 280 from the previous 140. The microblogging site had earlier relaxed the character limit by excluding the @usernames and other mentions from the character count. Twitter feels that this move will help people be more expressive.
“We want every person around the world to express themselves on Twitter easily, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming.” This issue is most prevalent with English since some of the other languages like Japanese and Chinese let you express more in lesser characters.
That being said the 280 character limit is currently being tested for a small group and will soon be available for everyone. As per a research carried out by Twitter, it has found that most of the users are required to trim their thoughts in order to fit into the 140 character bracket. The study further dwells on how some of the users decide not to tweet because of the character limit. Twitter says that an average length of a tweet in Japanese is 15 characters and apparently only 0.4 percent of tweets reach the 140 characters.
If one remembers, Twitter came out in the era of SMS, and at that time the character count for each SMS was 140 characters. Twitter stuck to this throughout the last decade, and now it is trying to revisit the character limit with a linguistic angle. Yes, Twitter has already started studying the character need for several Asian languages and if the need arises, it will further mod the character limit.
That being said, the 140 characters have been at the heart of Twitter, in fact, it’s this brevity that was appealing. But doubling up on 280 characters is still a reasonable tradeoff as opposed to the inconvenience of trimming and cramming our tweets. As one might have expected the Twitterati have already begun raging on the issue.