Twitter Doubling Allowed Tweet Character Limit to 280

Twitter said revenues in the quarter slipped five percent from a year ago to $574 million, and advertising revenue fell eight percent to $489 million

Twitter has doubled the allowed amount of characters in posts from 140  to 280, rolling out the new update to select accounts.

In an official blog post on Tuesday, Twitter’s Product Manager Aliza Rosen announced that the character increase would exclude languages which allow users to convey more information in fewer characters, including Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

“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,” explained Rosen. “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),” she continued.

In the post, Rosen also claimed that the average Japanese post was comprised of 15 characters, while the average English post was comprised of 34.

Similarly, 9 percent of posts in English hit the 140 character limit, while just 0.4 percent of Japanese posts did the same.

“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,” Rosen declared, adding that some users may have “an emotional attachment to 140 characters.”

In a post on Twitter, CEO Jack Dorsey claimed, “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,” he continued. “And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!”

Several users criticized the change, including free speech social network Gab, who claimed Twitter had copied everything from their platform except the commitment to free speech.

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington and Gab @Nash, or like his page at Facebook.