Twitter update to 280 characters

Twitter is rolling out 280-character tweets

What is it?

Twitter announced today that after a global test, 280-character tweets will roll out to users around the world.

What does it do?

The iconic 140-character tweet is no more…. You’ll now have 280 characters to get creative with. According to Twitter, “more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts into a tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before”

Is it a game-changer?

Twitter has backed its decision by claiming that this move has been introduced in response to criticism from its users. But now it has been introduced, are people really putting it to use?

Figures from the trial period suggest that the answer is no. People did not actually use the extra characters. Only 5% of tweets sent during the trial period exceeded 140 characters, and just 2% exceeded 190 characters. This, therefore begs the question, was the change even necessary? These figures paired with the online backlash suggests not. 

There have also been concerns that this defeats the whole purpose of Twitter itself. At its core, it is a reactive platform; it thrives on fast-moving, real time content. Will encouraging people to post more expansive paragraphs disrupt this, and more importantly, will it have a detrimental effect on the creativity of content on the platform? Ultimately, only time will tell… for now, users do not seem to be phased by the new change. It does, at least open up the possibility for longer tweets… if that is what people want.