Twitter Increases Its Character Limit to 280, What Does This Mean For The Network?

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One of Twitter’s core principles has been short, sharp and often indirect messaging. A core idea of the site was originally 'like sending a text, but to everyone'. It’s original character limit of 140 was based roughly on traditional SMS text communication, something the site has not needed to be associated with for a long time.

The move is currently being trialled in all languages except Chinese, Japanese and Korean as these can convey more information with a single character.  

Twitter’s userbase is decidedly split over the decision. Some have cited the brevity of the character limit is a big draw to the site; even claiming an emotional connection to it. Others have said that the limited characters is a factor that pushed them away from using it.

Overall goals for the change have been set for more people regularly using the social network, which has suffered some decline in recent times. Whether this happens remains to be seen. 

Pros

  • Users have more freedom over what they post and don’t have to rely on clunky, somewhat annoying, threads for longer tweets.
  • Communication should be easier; discussion and debate will be clearer on the platform with the expanded character limit.
  • Users, with less constraints, may be more likely to tweet more.



Cons

  • Twitter loses some of its original identity, something that draws many users to the site.
  • Tweets may be full of superfluous words and filler, which exactly what the platform does not want, this could push some users away. 
  • Easy scrolling of the newsfeed will be interrupted by the expansion and those who enjoy Twitter’s weird charms, such as threads and the condensed writing will be disappointed.
Kieran MerigoComment