After testing more room to tweet in September, Twitter today globally rolled out 280-character tweet limit.
During the testing, Twitter said with expanded limit user tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained.
Historically, nine per cent of Tweets in English hit the character limit. This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a Tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning Tweets before sending. With the expanded character count, this problem was massively reduced – that number dropped to only one per cent of Tweets running up against the limit, Twitter said in a blog post.
And since Tweets hit the character limit less often, we believe people spent less time editing their Tweets in the composer. This shows that more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before. You can see this happening in the graph below, the blog post added.
Now when you tweet, instead of a character count that decreases automatically when you start creating a tweet, Twitter in the new tweet limit has replaced that with a white ring that starts changing the colour to blue. The ring turns yellow indicating the limit is about to reach and turns red once the limited is exceeded.
During the testing, Twitter also revealed that many people were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character Tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space. But that didn’t happen and only five per cent of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only two per cent were over 190 characters.
As a result, Twitter found out that your timeline reading experience will not substantially change, and you will still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline. For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190-character Tweet.
In addition to more Tweeting, people who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter.
People in the experiment told Twitter that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall.