Twitter’s expansion to 280 characters is rolling out publicly today to all users in supported languages, including English. The company had first announced the controversial plan to move beyond its traditional 140 characters back in September, noting at the time how a longer character count allowed users to express more of their thoughts without running out of room to tweet.
The expansion was initially available to a select group of Twitter users as a trial.
At the time of its original announcement, the company cited data backing up its decision that referenced how the character constraints impacted users differently, depending on their language.
Twitter said that those who tweeted in languages like Japanese, Korean and Chinese were able to express around double the amount of information in a single character, compared with users who spoke English, Spanish, Portuguese or French, for example.
The #280 Controversy
The decision was met with a fair amount of controversy, given that one of Twitter’s defining characteristics is the brevity of users’ posts.
Many argued that the increase to 280 characters would make Twitter less readable, as longer tweets filled their timelines.
Others suggested that Twitter’s focus on a feature no one really asked for was diverting its attention from more critical problems – like the rampant abuse, harassment and bullying it’s become known for unfortunately.
TWITTER USERS: It would be nice if you stopped people making death threats.
TWITTER: OK, but what if those death threats could be LONGER?
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) September 26, 2017
If there’s one thing we could ask for from 2017, it wouldn’t be “more Twitter.”
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) November 8, 2017
Say what you will, I just wanted an EDIT button…
(source: Tech Crunch)