Will 280-character tweet limit start a nuclear war? Twitter reacts
The move is arguably the most significant change the micro blogging website has made to the platform since its launch in 2006.
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It's finally happening. Twitter is rolling out an update to enable users to send 280-character tweets, doubling the existing 140-character limit. Only a select few have so far got the opportunity to experiment with the update.
Can’t fit your Tweet into 140 characters? 🤔We’re trying something new with a small group, and increasing the character limit to 280! Excited about the possibilities? Read our blog to find out how it all adds up. 👇https://t.co/C6hjsB9nbL— Twitter (@Twitter) September 26, 2017
Arguably the most significant change Twitter has made to its platform since its launch in 2006, the switch has been described by CEO Jack Dorsey as “a small change, but a big move”.
“This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160-character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!” said chief executive Jack, announcing the update on September 26.
The company claims it reached the decision after its research findings revealed the character count limitation impacted those tweeting in some languages, such as English, Spanish, Portuguese or French more than others like Japanese, Korean and Chinese.
"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... 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," explained Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen in a blog post.
However, that's not to say everybody's on board with Twitter's latest move. The decision has left Twitterverse polarised, with many arguing that this update will only worsen the whole experience the site made famous:
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
Brevity's been the soul of Twitter, for me. The 140-character limit has been a masterclass in concision and economy— William Gibson (@GreatDismal) September 26, 2017
literally my only talent was being able to think of tweets exactly 140 characters long. i don't know if I will be able to alter this to 280.— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) September 26, 2017
I truly believe the 280 character limit will be the death of Twitter.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) September 27, 2017
Others decided to point out how the social media giant has ignored the real problems facing it and rolled out a feature that is, at best, pointless and, worse, will accentuate the issues being faced by users of the plaftform across the globe.
Dear friends,If I get the 280 character limit, I'll end every tweet withRegards,Mihir Modi— Mihir (@mihirmodi) September 27, 2017
Twitter users: Could you do something about online harassment?Twitter: No, but now those bullies can use 2x as many characters per Tweet!— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) September 26, 2017
Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin banayenge. Mandir wahin ban— Call me DT/ Deets (@AditiMallya) September 27, 2017
*Us*: Twitter has a problem with harassment in 140 characters*Twitter*: NOW YOU CAN HARASS PEOPLE WITH 280 CHARACTERS!— Josh Hill (@jdavhill) September 26, 2017
Twitter has increased the character limit from 140 to 280. Which makes it that much easier for me to transition into that uncle who sends excruciatingly long jokes on Whatsapp.Should I change my handle to Kapoor Uncle or Bhatia uncle or Saluja uncle Ghaziabad or Luthra Uncle or— Akshar (@AksharPathak) September 27, 2017
twitter is going to gradually increase the character limit until we learn how to read again— kev (@kept_simple) September 27, 2017
Believe it or not, users also took to Twitter to explain how the 280-character limit is an elaborate ploy to start a nuclear war at the hands of POTUS, Donald Trump.
A small group can now tweet 280 characters instead of 140. Let's hope Trump is NOT a member of this small group. https://t.co/MNlhXFOSUW— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 26, 2017
Maybe Twitter thinks Trump won't start nuclear armageddon if he just has twice the characters to explain himself in?— emptywheel (@emptywheel) September 26, 2017
Imagine how many accidental wars Trump could start in 280 characters. https://t.co/6OT4BQAAgC— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) September 26, 2017
Trump: I can only cause so much commotion with 140 characters. Oh well. Twitter: Now, 280! Neat-o!!!Trump: Mother of God, hold my beer— 🐸Bryce Howes🐸 (@xCptJackSparrow) September 26, 2017