Twitter Doubles Its Character Limit for Select Languages

Sep 27

Twitter is about to address one issue that has annoyed users of the social media platform for the longest time – its restrictive 140-character limit per tweet. On Tuesday, the company finally announced that it is now doubling the character limit per tweet from 140 to 280 characters.

However, the expansion to the new 280-character limit will not be applicable to all languages supported by the platform. The new cap will be imposed on select languages such as English, French, Portuguese and Spanish but the 140-character limit will still be used for other languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean according to Tech Crunch.

Apparently, some languages like Japanese, for instance, only require fewer words to express the same amount of information as compared to other languages such as English. According to company data, 9 percent of English tweets reached the 140-character mark while only a minuscule 0.4 percent of Japanese tweets were observed to reach the threshold, Business Insider reported. In addition, most English tweets have 34 characters compared to the 15-character tweets common for Japanese users.

At the moment though, only a handful of users will benefit the expansion to a 280-character limit. The new cap is still being tested for a select minority of users but a platform-wide implementation is already being planned.

The 140-character limit tweet is a rather touchy issue for Twitter. For some users, the limit is seen as the perfect length for Twitter where brevity is the hallmark. In fact, users protested when rumors surfaced in 2016 saying that Twitter planned on allowing users to make lengthy, multi-paragraphs tweets. CEO Jack Dorsey had to deny the rumor in response and reiterate that the 140-character cap is here to stay saying, ““It’s a good constraint for us and it allows for of-the-moment brevity.”

However, Twitter has now acknowledged that for a majority of its users, the 140-character limit could sometimes become an issue. In a blog post, Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen revealed: “Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese.”

Hence, the company decided to expand the limit so that users don’t have to cram their thoughts into a 140-character prose. Aside from giving them more room to express their ideas, the new 280-character limit is deemed the perfect restriction to compel them to make posts that are as concise as possible; the perfect balance between brevity and room for expression.

[Featured Image via Pixabay]