"In our testing, we have seen strong engagement levels with Tweets that are above 140 characters but ultimately, the best Tweets will come down to quality of language and content, whether the Tweet is 80, 180 or 280 characters", said Leanne Gibson, acting managing director at Twitter Canada. Long-form tweeting is now the standard for everyone, and the changes are in the process of rolling out to all users.
When Twitter first turned on the 280-character test for a subset of its users, the new limit was quickly used in less informative and more troll-like ways. "But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained", a Twitter blog post explains.
Twitter's latest move is a watershed moment for the publicly traded company, which posted better-than-expected earnings and revenue growth during its most recent quarter but struggled with sluggish user growth in more recent quarters. That's all well and good, but what's the damn point of expanding the character limit if only 5% of tweets are taking advantage of it? And even if the social network saw a significant influx of longer tweets after Tuesday's announcement, Rosen pointed out that current tweets with an image or poll already take up more space than a 190-character tweet.
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Increasing the character limit should not affect people's experience on the site, she added. This means people probably spent time editing down their tweets or not sending them out at all.
The reason this is important for Twitter is that by giving users a little bit more space to talk, they spend less time trying to condense their thoughts, and more time just, well, talking.
To try and get more people Tweeting, it had a cunning plan.
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"People did silly and creative things like writing just a few characters per line to make their Tweets extra large".
Twitter users also expressed concerns the higher count goes against the spirit of the service and its 140-character concept. We expect to see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week's launch and expect it to resume to normal behaviour soon after'. "Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter", the company wrote.
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