Twitter announced, on Tuesday, a test project allowing tweets to be expanded to 280 characters, which is double the existing limit, in the latest effort to boost productivity.
San Francisco-based Twitter said the new system, a major shift for the messaging platform known for its 140-character tweets, aims to address “a major cause of frustration” for many users.
A “small group” of users will see the new limits before Twitter decides on rolling out the changes more broadly.
“Trying to cram your thoughts into a tweet, we’ve all been there, and it’s a pain,” product manager Aliza Rosen and software engineer Ikuhiro Ihara said in a blog post.
“We’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming.”
Twitter planned to leave the old limit in place for tweets in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean because internal data showed written characters in those languages packed plenty into the alloted space.
“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English, but it is not for those tweeting in Japanese,” Rosen and Ihara said.
“Also, in all markets, when people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people tweeting.”
“We’re hoping fewer tweets run into the character limit, which should make it easier for everyone to tweet,” Rosen and Ihara said in the blog post.
“We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.”
Twitter has been seeking to draw in users by offering more video including live streaming of sporting events, aiming to broaden its appeal.