After testing a new 280-character limit a couple of months ago, Twitter is rolling out the new limit to everyone, starting today.
Twitter says you shouldn’t expect to see an apocalyptic flood of massive tweets now, though. According to its data, the number of tweets with a higher-than-average character count was small after the initial novelty wore off. In fact, only 5 percent of tweets sent by testers were longer than 140 characters.
According to Twitter’s Product Manager Aliza Rosen:
We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained.
I’m not sure whether that means Twitter is actually committed to the 140 character limit long term, or whether we’re just conditioned to self-edit and will grow out of that when all of us have the option.
The new character limit will be available to all languages that have problems with cramming. According to a spokesperson, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese languages don’t require a higher limit due to the languages inherently having more meaning packed into every character than in, say, English. As such, those who tweet primarily in those languages don’t have as much of a problem with cramming.