The 140-character text limit has proved challenging for many, but social media site Twitter has unveiled plans to increase the length of messages for people using its service.
In a recent blog post on its website, Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen and senior software engineer Ikuhiro Ihara said there had been a noticeable disconnect on the ability of people to use Twitter in some languages than others.
“When I tweet in English, I quickly run into the 140-character limit and have to edit my Tweet down so it fits. Sometimes, I have to remove a word that conveys an important meaning or emotion, or I don’t send my Tweet at all,” Ms Rosen wrote.
“But when Iku tweets in Japanese, he doesn’t have the same problem. He finishes sharing his thought and still has room to spare. This is because in languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.”
As a means of addressing this imbalance, the pair said Twitter will trial doubling the character limit for tweets made in all languages other than Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
While the new 280-character tweets will only be available to a small test group initially, Twitter is expected to roll out the move more widely in the near future.
“Although we feel confident about our data and the positive impact this change will have, we want to try it out with a small group of people before we make a decision to launch to everyone,” the duo said.
They added that while an increased limit “should make it easier for everyone to tweet”, the company has no plans to abandon character limits altogether.
“Twitter is about brevity. It’s what makes it such a great way to see what’s happening. Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter. That is something we will never change.”
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