There’s no briefer way of expressing thoughts on any social platform than Twitter, making more matter with less; more substance, less rhetoric. And of course, helping people fire quick witted shots at others too. But for the first time in history, the corporation announced yesterday (Tuesday) that its changing character count for tweets —from 140 characters to 280 characters. Essentially, tweets won’t have to be as clever anymore, rant threads would become clunky paragraphs, attention span will depreciate even more, and the world will come to an end.
In the beginning, the 140 tweet limit had resulted from text messaging. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters before they’re split in two texts. This was part of Twitter’s founding idea, to be able to fit tweets aptly into a text message —140 characters for the tweet, and 20 characters for the username. As usual, this is still the testing period. This new change for its character limit will include only those who tweet in certain languages, including English, Portuguese and Spanish. Primarily because Twitter character counts is more of a problem for some users in specific languages.
Twitter explained in a blog post that in Japanese, Korean and Chinese, people can convey twice as much information as languages like English and Spanish. Tweets sent in Japanese use 140 characters just 0.4% of the time, while English-language tweets hit 140 characters 9% of the time. Only a small group of people will get the new limit before Twitter launches it to everyone. But all users will be able to see longer tweets.
People will definitely embrace the change but not without some reactions first.
I think it’s time to leave Twitter dot com
— tyro (@DoubleEph) September 26, 2017
This place is going to end up as a blog last last
— tyro (@DoubleEph) September 27, 2017
The 280-character limit is a terrible idea. The whole beauty of Twitter is that it forces you to express your ideas concisely (1/47)
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) September 26, 2017
Twitter is testing 280 Character Limit:
Twitter increase the character limit from 140 to 280 in tweets. Looks like we'll be able to see only 2 tweets (with summary card attached). Twitter's beauty is 140 characters awalys not 280 characters. #280Characters #TweetWithin140CharsPls
— vb (@vbzu) September 27, 2017
I dont want 280 characters. Twitter is about quality not quantity. Actually Twitter isn't about quality either. What is Twitter about again?
— Adam N. Fleming (@AdamNFleming) September 27, 2017
Apparently Twitter has given me 280 characters to ramble on with even though I needed only 140 and really don't have that much to say at the moment, thereby misguidedly altering the core feature of its product, and possibly destroying it. Forever. Still more? No way. This sucks.
— Pedro da Costa (@pdacosta) September 27, 2017
While some are even complaining that the new change is very trivial to what the service should actually be looking forward to. Like adding an edit button!
Vote & RT so Twitter sees this
— BILLION (@BillionTwiTs) September 27, 2017
— Nightfall Gloam (@NightfallGloam) September 27, 2017
If u can't make sense with 140characters, if they tripple it gan, you'll not still mk sense
Twitter save us from long dumb tweets
— Smurf Grumpy (@rogue_kvng) September 27, 2017
Users may also argue Twitter should focus more on the harassment and abuse, despite the company’s efforts to better police it. Last year, the media was flooded with a slew of think-pieces claiming Twitter had a troll problem. But Twitter’s problem really is abuse. Abuse of free Speech. Somewhere in America, where many have called on Twitter to address the President Donald Trump’s use of the platform:
And in one stroke, Twitter doubles the complexity of our nation's foreign policy.
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) September 27, 2017
RETWEET if You Disagree With Twitter…https://t.co/TeRddXsjyE
— Impeach Donald Trump (@Impeach_D_Trump) September 27, 2017
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) September 27, 2017
All this is privy to our think piece, which we wrote earlier in August, the coolness of Twitter is now in the past and the bird is on its way out. You should absolutely read it here.
Featured Image Credit: Debola Abimbolu/@Debola_abimbolu
Fisayo is a journalist in search of words. Tweet at her @fisvyo