Published on December 18, 2017, at 1:47 p.m.
by Parker Rocco.
On September 26, 2017, Twitter announced that the social media platform will now allow users to compose longer tweets. In fact, the length of one tweet has doubled. Now, Twitter users have the opportunity to post messages that are up to 280 characters in length.
According to Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, “One hundred forty was an arbitrary choice based on the 160-character SMS limit.” Twitter’s founders chose this character limit because, in the past, SMS text messages only allowed users to type 160 characters. Since texts no longer have a length limit why should our tweets? One of the biggest restraints for Twitter users was the platform’s short character limit. Twitter management believed this may have been preventing users from tweeting more frequently.
Almost immediately, Twitter users, on personal and business accounts alike, began to try out the new feature. For example, the New York Yankees baseball team tweeted a list of the years that it won the World Series. Additionally, Disney’s Pixar tweeted Mr. Ray’s favorite song about the ocean’s zones.
While some users took to Twitter to take advantage of the new character limit, others used the platform to express their negative opinions. In an attempt to address some of the negative feedback the social media platform received, Dorsey explained in a blog post, “We understand since many of you have been tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters—we feel it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief constraint.”
Small change, big impact
Although this change seems small, it has had a big impact on Twitter users, especially since the microblogging site is known as a concise social media platform. Some users claimed the change took away from Twitter’s original essence. Twitter had not changed its character limit since the social media platform launched March 2006. And as we all know, many people don’t like change.
Although there has been some backlash toward Twitter after it announced the new character limit, I believe it will soon become accepted amongst all users. After all, change is good! Do you remember when Snapchat introduced stories? Or when Facebook allowed you to set a cover photo? These updates were not all well-received by users at first; however, we adapted and now use these features to best represent ourselves and our organizations on social media.
Like other platform changes over the years, Twitter users will adopt the new character limit and use it to share more information more clearly.