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#280characters: If there’s one thing 2017 needs ‘it isn't more Twitter’

The social media company says the new change will not affect the short, sharp nature of posts

Twitter said it believes the higher limit will not affect the short, sharp nature of the platform. File photograph: Thomas White/Reuters

Twitter’s expansion to 280 characters has been met with a mixed reaction from users.

The social media site confirmed on Tuesday night it was doubling its character limit from 140 — which had been in place since the site launched in 2006 — following a trial.

While the increased space was embraced by some — US president Donald Trump quickly began tweeting with the additional characters while on his Asian tour — others criticised the change.

US presenter Stephen Colbert wrote: “Dear Twitter,

If there’s one thing we could ask for from 2017, it wouldn’t be “more Twitter.”



Irish writer Marian Keyes is clearly not a fan: “Christ lads! I think my character count has been upgraded to the DREAD 280. No, no, no, no, NO!!!! This be UNNATURAL! This be AGIN God and nature. Tes an abomination! Feck them anyway, FECK THEM”

User Tom Cowie posted: “The best bit about 280 is never having to shorten whilst, amidst, and amongst ever again.”

Stephen Lobo wrote: “I’ve always thought that 140 characters were too little to effectively convey ones thoughts.

“And now that we have 280, am wondering whether a thought more than 140 characters is a thought worth tweeting. Or worth reading.

“Still figuring out how to fill the space. Just made it.”

However, model Chrissy Teigen quickly voiced her displeasure at the change with the post: “I will NEVER use 280 characters nor will I favorite or retweet a tweet with them. THIS IS MY FIGHT SONG.”

Many tweeted their support for an “edit button” being introduced instead of the new character limit.

Concerns were also raised over the social platform becoming too crowded with longer tweets.

Lianne Warnell posted: “The whole point of Twitter was its brevity #280characters.”

Journalist Michael Slezak said: “Gah. Who has time to read all these 280 character tweets. My brain has a 140 character limit now.”

Twitter said it believes the higher limit will not affect the short, sharp nature of the platform.

The company’s product manager Aliza Rosen said the company’s initial trial found length habits did not change dramatically.

“We — and many of you — were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280-character tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space,” she said.

“But that didn’t happen. Only 5 per cent of tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters.”

The expanded limit is rolling out around the world including Ireland, but will not apply to tweets in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, which can include more information in fewer characters, Twitter said.

– with PA