Twitter on Tuesday announced the roll out of the much anticipated 280-character tweets to everyone.
After months of testing, all users can now double the traditional 140-character limit to 280 characters.
Twitter has been testing the longer tweets since September and claims the test proved out the company’s theory — that giving more people room to tweet results in more engagement.
“People who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter,” the company wrote in a blog post.
TESTING LONGER TWEETS
Twitter has been testing longer tweets with “tens of millions” of users, according to company spokesperson Will Stickney.
Twitter says that just 5 percent of tweets sent by users in the test group were longer than the traditional 140-character limit. Only 1 percent of those tweets actually used all 280 characters.
In a blog post, Twitter said the expanded character limit would allow for easier expression while retaining the brevity for which the service is known.
With the previous limit in place, 9 percent of tweets hit 140 characters. But during the test of expanded tweets, only 1 percent of tweets hit 280 characters, Twitter said.
“More space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before,” the company said in a blog post.
At the same time, expanding the character limit risks disrupting the fast-moving, real-time nature of the site, encouraging people users to post more expansive paragraphs where they once might just have posted a few words and a link.
This could be especially true of Twitter’s large and noisy class of professional pundits, who live to explain the day’s events through voluminous threads.
“Since we saw Tweets hit the character limit less often, we believe people spent less time editing their Tweets in the composer. This shows that more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before.”
People who use Twitter in Korean, Japanese or Chinese will still get just 140 characters.
Twitter says this is because you can convey a lot more meaning in a lot fewer characters with those languages.