San Francisco (October 31, 2018): Twitter on Tuesday confirmed that a year after doubling the character limit for tweets, the average length of messages fired off in English actually got a smidge shorter.
The news promised to allay concerns that raising the character limit from 140 to 280 last year would ruin Twitter’s succinct comment style and lead to rants, rambles and diatribes.“We made this change because we want every person around the world to express themselves easily in a Tweet,” Twitter said.
“Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter.”
The typical length of a tweet in English actually dropped by a character to 33, according to the San Francisco-based service.
Twitter said users were also more inclined to type “please” or “thank you” and more likely to use complete words instead of abbreviations. About 9 per cent of all tweets today are exactly 140 characters, Twitter says. It’s tough to do that on accident, suggesting that users frequently have to edit their initial thoughts to get them under the limit. Now Twitter hopes to ease that burden by doubling the character limit in what it calls “languages impacted by cramming,” which includes every language except for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
Expanding the character limit was aimed at luring new users, but some of the social network’s passionate loyalists feared the change would strip it of its unique appeal.