Twitter has officially changed its character limit status for the first time since it was founded in 2006. The new expansion sees the character limit go from 140 to 280 characters per tweet, supporting all languages.
The change was announced back in September, with the company noting that a longer character count will allow Twitter users to express more of their thoughts without running out of room to tweet. Yesterday evening saw the update implemented for the first time, worldwide, aside from a select group of users who tested the feature in a trial run.
One of the biggest reasons for the change actually revolves around the restraints that the platform provides users in different countries, with different languages. Languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese had the luxury of being about to express around double the information of other languages, based on how their language is structured.
Countries that used English, Spanish, Portuguese or French didn’t have single characters to describe things, instead relying on fuller sentences, with larger words. More often than not, these users would simply revert to adding a notepad document in the form of an image into a tweet, so they could use more words.
As a result of these differences, Twitter rolled out the update to languages that were most affected by character limits during the test period.
In a blog post regarding the updates public launch, Twitter reassured its users that their timelines won’t be overrun with expanded tweets. During the trial period, people to continued to tweet below 140 characters most of the time, with only 5 percent going to 140 characters and 2 percent going over 190 characters.
It should be noted that the original sample size is (obviously) a lot smaller than Twitter’s user base. The company revealed to TechCrunch that only a “single-digit percentage” of its user base had access to 280 characters during the test period. (Twitter today has 330 million monthly users, as of its Q3 2017 earnings.)