After years consistency, Twitter, a company known for its constancy, is making a change by extending tweets from 140 characters to 280.
On Wednesday, Nov. 8, Twitter will start the move to 280 characters for most languages, with only a few staying at 140. Japanese, Chinese and Korean will stay at the original mark because of the ability to convey more information with a single character.
The move is in response to the problem people have had keeping their messages to 140 characters. The company wanted to still maintain the brevity that is special to the Twitter app, but wanted to keep people tweeting.
The company released plenty of stats after testing the upped character count since September, which suggested that the upped count will help people enjoy the app more without too many users clogging up feeds with perpetually long tweets. Twitter found that nine percent of users used their maximum character count with 140, compared to only one percent that used the full 280 available to them. During the test phase, only five percent of those tested went over 140 and only two percent went over 190.
While the change has widespread concern about more characters, the theory Twitter has is that it will increase the overall amount of interaction on the site if more people can get out the message they wanted to convey without feeling restrained to 140 characters.
“If you need more than 140 characters then go for it, more power to you, but it did not feel like a necessity to have more characters,” said Gregory Wilkins, associate director of the Centennial Student Union and Student Activities.
With the events, school plays and other activities hosted at Minnesota State University, Mankato that Wilkins oversees, public relations is part of the job and one of the many tasks he manages.
“In theory, it allows you to add more to a message that you wanted to communicate, but the job could be done with the old character count, and was getting done,” said Wilkins on the Twitter changes. “When we put a tweet together, there would be an air of creativity to slim down a message to the parameters and some of that creativity is gone with the higher character count.”
While it could have some uses, Wilkins noted that the brevity was “something unique to Twitter” and that made it a desirable product. There could be negative additions with the change, not only from a business perspective but also from a personal side.
“It could be a bummer to have some people able to run on longer on twitter. Can you imagine Trump with longer tweets?” said Wilkins on drawbacks of a longer tweet from various places.
Love it or hate it, get ready Twitter users because the change is in the process of switching over now.