Twitter doubles ‘word limit’ to 280 characters

After years of debate, micro-blogging website Twitter is testing a higher word limit for some of its users, including some in India.

Users, particularly active ones with large following, have been pleasantly surprised to see the limit of 140 characters relaxed as of today morning.

“This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

“Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!”

The feature, however, is not available yet to everyone, but will be rolled out in coming days.

[polldaddy poll=9839377] There have been many requests by users to remove the word limit, or make it high enough not to matter, as Facebook has done.

However, others felt that if users have too much space, they will tend to ramble, and this will affect the quality and conciseness of messages on Twitter.

Research done by Twitter found that the word limit does not have to be entirely removed, as only 0.4% of tweets sent in Japanese hit the 140-character limit, while 9% in English hit the limit. In Japanese, 140 characters is roughly equivalent to about 300 characters in English.

Facebook has adopted a hybrid approach, where it uses ellipsis (dots) after a certain number of characters, without really cutting off the remaining part of the message. The rest of the message can be read by clicking on the ‘read more’ link.