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Tweet length goes from 140 to 280 characters

Written by Alun John

Alun founded Marketing Tom and delivers some of its courses.

November 9, 2017

Yesterday Twitter increased its character count from the famous 140 characters to 280 characters. It would appear they carried out a trial among a small group of users in September but have now rolled it out to the majority of users. According to Twitter:

Historically, 9% 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.

Twitter also found through this experiment 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 might think that doubling the character limit to 280 may result in people using up this limit but what was interesting was that Twitter found that only 5% went over the 140 character limit and 2% went over 190 characters. In terms of engagement the folks at Twitter also found that:

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 us 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.

Aesthetically, what is quite interesting about the new format is that a circle appears to the right-hand side when you start writing and, much like a timer for a iOS or Android download, it starts moving round as you type. So, after a few characters you may see this:

and, getting nearer to your character limit, you will see this

before the yellow colour alerts you of your last few words

and red signifies you have reached or passed your final limit.
These are some of the quirky, fun, experimental tweets that I found which make good use of the 280-charcter limit:

And here’s one to get you scratching your head!

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