Towards the end of September, Twitter announced that they were beta testing the expansion of the classic 140 character limit to 280 characters. This was a big change since the 140 character limit has been one of those defining features of Twitter since the beginning, and it sure did cause ripples around the network.
Well now the beta test is over as Twitter has now rolled out the functionality to everyone so you can now tweet upto 280 characters to your discretion. Interestingly, Twitter revealed that during the beta test, many people used the entire 280 limit since it was new and novel, but soon that behaviour normalized. They ended up tweeting mostly below the 140 character limit and hence the brevity of Twitter ‘remained,’
Twitter also revealed several facts about the result of the beta test. Only 5% of tweets were sent longer than 140 characters and only 2% were longer than 190 characters. People who had more room to Tweet also received more engagement, got more followers and spent more time on the network, which is one of those statistics that makes Twitter happy. In addition, people who used this feature in the beta test told them that the higher character limit “made the feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall.”
Since it is live today, expect people to do what others did back in September where they will get excited by the expanded limit, but the novelty will wear off later on. However, we can’t still edit tweets though.