140 characters was the staple of Twitter. It pushed you to keep your thoughts, opinions, criticisms and whatever else you felt like expressing – concise (unless, of course, you’re Donald Trump). For 11 years it stuck to its 140 character rule, but last month the company decided to expand its limit and allow for you to go on rants of up to 280 characters – doubling in size.
Interestingly enough, this expansion does apply to all …. languages. The idea behind the expansion came when the company’s analysts analysed what can be expressed in different languages in 140 characters and they noticed that languages like Japanese require much less characters to express the same idea, say in English or Spanish. “Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese,” wrote Rosen. “Also, in all markets, when people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting – which is awesome!”
Framing this change as “more freedom to express yourself” is great, but at the end of the day, if more characters gets Twitter a higher user engagement and more posts – that’s what matters to their bottom line. Or so I (cynically) think.
‘Till next time,