October 12 2017
Since the founding of Twitter in 2006, it has set the limit of 140 characters for 11 years. Recently Twitter announced that it is testing doubling character count to 280 characters for languages including English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, so that users can share their thoughts without using up room in the tweet. Chinese, Korean, and Japanese are not included in the test due to the reason that people can use fewer characters in these languages to express the same ideas. In addition, Twitter has also updated its user interface so that users do not need to count down the characters until nearing the end of a tweet. Right now doubling character count is being tested within a small percent of people before it goes more board.
This can be regarded as a move that overhauls the defining feature of the social platforms. In view of Twitter's famous change-averse users, it is likely to make the move controversial. Changes have taken places in Twitter over years like an algorithmic timeline, a new way of responding to tweets, etc., but nearly all have proved to be controversial among its audience.
The conciseness of tweets has been regarded as one of Twitter’s most attractive features. Therefore, many users have an emotional attachment to the old character count. Aliza Rosen, the product manager of Twitter, said that doubling the character count was probably to bring controversy, but she was confident that users would accept and embrace it eventually.
The small percent of users who will be able to test longer character count have been chosen in a random way and they are given special privileges during the test. Although the company feel confident about this change, but they still want to try within a small circle of users and then expand to everyone.
All hands on deck for launch! https://t.co/hCZv6qXgw6— Aliza Rosen (@alizar) September 26, 2017
Twitter's current limit of 140 characters was set in the old days when Twitter users read and send tweets mainly by text messages. This change brings controversy and many people feel that it is hard to get used to it. As a Twitter fan, I am still not sure about my feeling about this change. It seems that 140 characters is Twitter, which is something emotional, poetic or perfect about Twitter. Doubling the length seems to take a piece from it, right? What’s your feeling about this? Feel free to give your comments.
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