Twitter to test double-sized 280-character tweets

“Trying to cram your thoughts into a Tweet – we’ve all been there, and it’s a pain,” Aliza Rosen writes for Twitter’s official blog. “Interestingly, this isn’t a problem everywhere people Tweet. For example, when I (Aliza) Tweet in English, I quickly run into the 140 character limit and have to edit my Tweet down so it fits. Sometimes, I have to remove a word that conveys an important meaning or emotion, or I don’t send my Tweet at all. But when Iku Tweets in Japanese, he doesn’t have the same problem. He finishes sharing his thought and still has room to spare. This is because in languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.”

“We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean),” Rosen writes. “Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this.”

“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. Also, in all markets, when people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting – which is awesome!” Rosen writes. “Although we feel confident about our data and the positive impact this change will have, we want to try it out with a small group of people before we make a decision to launch to everyone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Jack Dorsey, for one, is excited about the possibilities:

Others insinuate that a little editing goes a long way:

UPDATE, 9/27, 9:15am EDT: Here’s our first 280-character tweet:


      1. Well….the first thing ya’ know ol’ Maxi’s a millionaire,
        the kinfolk said, “Maxi, move on outta there!”
        They said, ‘Your own district ain’t the place you oughta be.”
        So, she loaded up her Cadillac and moved to Bever-lee…

        Hills, that is… swimmin’ pools! movie stars!

        The Beverly Racebaiter.
        (fade-out to banjo pluckin’.)

    1. Twitter is not stupid. It might seem stupid if you use it stupidly however when used properly, it is one of the most effective heads up news services around. If you subscribe to morons, you get moronic tweets. If you’re primarily interested in Mac and Apple news, you subscribe to such people.

      If you’re hammering screws in, a hammer probably appears to be a stupid tool to you.

  1. Bad news for Donald Trump. He might be forced to speak in complete sentences. Orange Baby Fuher doesn’t fare so well with long-form communication, so the 140 character limit was perfect for him.

  2. The comparison to language like Japanese is apropos… as Japanese SMS were limited to 56 characters. Japanese/Chinese characters are all 2-byte characters (as opposed to roman languages being 1-byte with 8 empty zeroes preceding each byte when using UNICODE). In addition, the Japanese language is more suited for brevity as it drops things like pronouns and relies more on context. 日本語=Japanese. 3 characters vs. 8.

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