140 and holding

Twitter would have you believe:

Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese. Also, in all markets, when people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting — which is awesome!

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. What matters most is that this works for our community — we will be collecting data and gathering feedback along the way. We’re hoping fewer Tweets run into the character limit, which should make it easier for everyone to Tweet.

I suspect I hit 140 more than most people, but I’ve never considered that a problem: if anything, it helps me gather experience with editing, which is hardly a disadvantage.

And I’m not among the selected few. If I were, I’d probably use all 280 to complain that two things I actually would appreciate — the ability to edit something previously Twote within about five minutes or so, and a rational code of conduct — were passed over in favor of making life easier for the garrulous.


  1. fillyjonk »

    28 September 2017 · 7:20 am

    Saying the 140 character limit is a major cause of frustration on Twitter is kinda like saying too few stoplights is a major cause of frustration with traffic in cities.

    I can’t tell if I want to be part of “Club 280” or not. So far, I have not been asked to join, which is par for the course of my life.

  2. McG »

    28 September 2017 · 7:44 am

    Right. Doubling the character limit will bring back all the tweeters who bailed out over shadowbans and unbalanced enforcement of the TOS.

    The other one doesn’t have bells on, but pull it anyway.

  3. Dan T. »

    28 September 2017 · 7:48 am

    I’m not sure what sort of code of conduct you’d regard as “rational”; any attempts to create one always get enmeshed in the culture wars, and get used for politically-motivated speech policing.

  4. Holly H »

    28 September 2017 · 8:27 am

    Baltasar Gracián’s:
    “Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno; y aun lo malo, si breve, no tan malo.”
    (What’s good, when short, is twice as good, and yet what’s bad, when it is brief, is not that bad).

  5. nightfly »

    28 September 2017 · 10:29 am

    I do not like the 280 limit. Honestly, I think they decided to expand because competitor Gab has a larger character limit (I think it’s 300). But I think that a compromise might work – maybe go to a flat 200 characters. That should be enough.

  6. fillyjonk »

    28 September 2017 · 10:52 am

    If they exempted punctuation and links, I’d be happy to stick with 140.

  7. McG »

    28 September 2017 · 11:03 am

    I’m not sure what sort of code of conduct you’d regard as “rational”

    Heh. When your code of conduct has to start with, “1. Everyone must abide by the Code of Conduct”, rationality may be out the window already.

  8. CGHill »

    28 September 2017 · 11:54 am

    A definition of harassment more specific than “Boo hoo, he hurt my feelings” would be a good start.

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