Twitter officially expands its character count to 280 starting today

Twitter officially expands its character count to 280 starting today
From TechCrunch - November 7, 2017

Twitters expansion to 280 characters is rolling out publicly today to all users in supported languages, including English. The company had first announcedthe controversial plan to move beyond its traditional 140 characters back in September, noting at the time how a longer character count allowed users to express more of their thoughts without running out of room to tweet.

The expansion was initially available to a select group of Twitter users as a trial.

At the time of itsoriginal announcement, the company cited data backing up its decision that referenced how the character constraints impacted users differently, depending on their language.

Twitter said that those who tweeted in languages likeJapanese, Korean and Chinese were able to express around double the amount of information in a single character, compared with users who spokeEnglish, Spanish, Portuguese or French, for example.

Because of this, Twitter decided the expansion to 280 characters would only roll out to those languages affected by crammingmeaning everything butJapanese, Chinese and Koreanduring the test period.

The #280 Controversy

The decision was met with a fair amount of controversy, given that one of Twitters defining characteristics is the brevity of users posts.

Many argued that the increase to 280 characters would make Twitter less readable, as longer tweets filled their timelines.

Others suggested that Twitters focus on a feature no one really asked for was diverting its attention from more critical problemslike the rampant abuse, harassment and bullying its become known for unfortunately.

And still more argued that the expansion doesnt really mean people will be able to better express themselvestheyll just say the same thing, but use more words to do so.

One particularly funny tweet on that subject even went viral.

A redlined and edited version of Twitter CEO Jack Dorseys 280-character tweet demonstrated how it was possible to shrink the tweets word count down without losing its meaning.

Twitters user base is somewhat split on whether the change would ruin Twitter. Tech mediaoutside of acouple level-headed responses seemed to be opposed to the change.


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