Twitter Expands Tweets To 280 Characters For Some Users

Image courtesy of Tom Raftery

Did you wake up this morning to find you have a few long-winded friends on Twitter? It’s possible, as the micro-blogging site doubled its long-standing 140-character limit… for some users. 

Twitter announced Tuesday that it is giving some users 280 characters to better express themselves on the social media site.

Why The Expansion?

While Twitter has teased a longer Twitter character count and has revamped how it counts those characters in recent years, the most recent decision to expand character counts came down to wanting “every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter.”

The company found that users speaking certain languages weren’t able to convey their messages or emotions in a 140-character Tweet.

For example, Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen says that she quickly runs out of room when Tweeting in English, forcing her to remove a word or not send the Tweet at all. On the other hand, her co-worker, Iku doesn’t have this problem when he Tweets in Japanese.

In order to allow users around the world to express themselves on Twitter, the company is testing a longer limit of 280 characters for languages impacted by cramming. To Twitter, that’s every language except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

But What If I Tweet In Two Languages?

There are, of course, Twitter users who can and choose to Tweet in multiple languages.

While Twitter notes that the character limit is only available to languages that are not Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, it doesn’t provide insight on how it will determine when a certain language is being used.

Consumerist has reached out to Twitter for clarification on the limits to certain languages.

In the past, the company has used language targeting for things like promoted Tweets. Under this system, the company said it used a “number of different signals to determine a user’s language, including the selected language in a user’s profile settings and the languages that correspond to a user’s activity on Twitter.”

“A user can be targetable by multiple languages if we infer that a user is multilingual,” the company said in 2014.

When Will It Start?

The new character limit began rolling out to users this week.

But don’t expect to log on and just find a new 280-character Tweet box waiting for you. Twitter says the new limit is only available to a “small group” of people right now.

The company says that it will be collecting data and gathering feedback from this group in order to determine when to roll it out to others.

But I Want It Now

Have a lot to say? The Verge reports that there is a workaround for users who just need those 280 characters right this minute.

The system involves downloading Tampermonkey for your browser, installing a script that will bypass the Tweet button limit. This automatically allow you to Tweet in 280 characters when using Twitter on the web.

Of course, if you don’t want to download the script manager, you can just hope to be randomly selected for the longer Tweet test by Twitter.

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