Twitter announced on Tuesday it was testing one of the biggest changes to the service in its 11-year history.
Tweets had previously been limited to 140 characters. Many considered that Twitter’s defining characteristic.
But now it’s testing tweets that can be twice as long. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the change in a tweet made up of exactly 280 letters, numbers, and symbols.
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
But the real question is what Twitter’s notoriously snarky userbase made up of tech nerds, politics journalists, sports fans, and Russian bots thinks. So far, it seems like they hate it.
Here are some tweets:
LIVE from Twitter HQ pic.twitter.com/Mpbo8xh3KJ
— Product Hunt (@ProductHunt) September 26, 2017
I stopped reading halfway through. https://t.co/Ht3JplcUQG
— Matt House (@mattwhouse) September 26, 2017
too long, didn’t read https://t.co/eE65tPVixi
— laura j. brown (@laurjbrown) September 26, 2017
'Ban Nazis pls'
'We're making your display a pic a circle'
"Can you ban the Nazis pls'
'Longer tweets for everyone'https://t.co/UEbhn5nGHY
— Daily Mail Comments (@BestoftheMail) September 26, 2017
just get rid of the nazis jack https://t.co/2Xj7hYQY7l
— stephanie (@sadengels) September 26, 2017
Can we have a smart edit function instead
140 characters are fine because of threads https://t.co/tv1DcgoF60
— Nibel (@Nibellion) September 26, 2017
hi jack, this is bad. twitters user retention/engagement problems do not stem from the 140 character limit. fire the product team. thanks https://t.co/cVMFmMdeuo
— jon hendren (@fart) September 26, 2017
— Brian Barone (@brianrbarone) September 26, 2017
Seriously who asked for this cuz it looks horrible https://t.co/z10vM1JVNN
— g. (@mssimuel) September 26, 2017
RIP my favorite twitter joke: the one where you write a really absurd line and stretch it out as long as you possibly can so it hits the cha
— austin walker (@austin_walker) September 26, 2017
Ugh. Nobody comes to the Twitter dot com to read essays. Anyway a thread on why this is such a bad idea… 1/n https://t.co/wvIdfRSXOj
— Pwn All The Things (@pwnallthethings) September 26, 2017
and just hear us out on this…
can we trade-in those extra 140 characters for a nifty, thrifty EDIT button? https://t.co/558NQtsfNU
— AtlantaMotorSpeedway (@amsupdates) September 26, 2017
this looks like a facebook post https://t.co/aIZfu3ujtp
— ?????? (@dopexhaze) September 26, 2017
Testing the limits of human stupidity? Yes. Yes you are. https://t.co/9k9Qtjgd21
— MUGATU (@MugatuCapital) September 26, 2017
Going to #280 confirms my theory that all tools you can type into eventually converge to Word.
— ????Steven Sinofsky ? (@stevesi) September 26, 2017
Twitter going up to 280 characters? Total lot of nonsense. If you can't get your message across in 140 characters you really are a useless f
— Murdo Fraser (@murdo_fraser) September 26, 2017
twitter increasing the character limit to 280 yeah cause that’s exactly what i need more space to explain how much of a mess my life is
— lewis aitken (@lxwissss) September 26, 2017
ok i am in
— darth:™ (@darth) September 26, 2017
literally my only talent was being able to think of tweets exactly 140 characters long. i don't know if I will be able to alter this to 280.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) September 26, 2017
riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. Sir Tristram, violer d'amores, fr'over the short sea, had passencore rearrived from North Armorica on this side the scraggy isthm
— Mark Bergen (@mhbergen) September 26, 2017
Some people are wondering how famous Twitter user President Donald Trump will take the news.
Great, now he can start nuclear war FASTER! https://t.co/4PfZoiviGW
— ?ikey?????????? (@mikeyofthegeek) September 26, 2017
the world: trump gonna get us kilt via tweets
twitter: ok here's more characters!
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) September 26, 2017
Also, yes, we asked if Trump would be a part of the new test. no clue b/c it's random. Exciting! https://t.co/WkaPAQvOHz
— ?_? (@MikeIsaac) September 26, 2017
Will decide whether or not this is a good or bad thing later, but right now I'm just begging you guys not to give the 280 limit to Trump https://t.co/r3A2UjpxS0
— zak ali (@_zakali) September 26, 2017
VC Bill Gurley, who backed Twitter before it was a public company, likes the move, though.
Can't wait for 280.
— Bill Gurley (@bgurley) September 26, 2017
So does The New York Times’ Silicon Valley columnist:
I still think this is a great idea. Think of it this way: it will probably cut down on threads. Also no more dumb abbreviations.
— Farhad Manjoo ???????? (@fmanjoo) September 26, 2017
Ultimately, the key audience for this change will be normal people who aren’t addicted to Twitter. Some like it!
— Rachel Browne (@rachelbrowne_NY) September 26, 2017
THANK YOU @Twitter For increasing the character limit to 280. You've done me a great service! Made my life easier when posting blog posts!
— Austin (@nitasu987) September 26, 2017
Twitter giving me 280 characters thank you thank you thank you
— Shawnald McDonald (@ShawnSnawn) September 26, 2017