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Tweeting in 280 Characters? Now You Can Do It, Too

The first sentence of this article about Twitter was written in 140 characters, so we can show what has long been the top length of a tweet.

But Twitter is making a change to the form of a tweet. On Tuesday, the company said nearly all of its 330 million users would now be able to tweet with 280 characters, the exact total in this paragraph. Twitter has said that the expanded limit will encourage people to tweet more.

In early tests, Twitter found that people with 280 characters saw more likes, retweets and engagement, and spent more time on Twitter, than they had previously. Moreover, despite an initial bump in longer tweets, only 5 percent of tweets exceeded 140 characters, the company said.

“People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content and Twitter over all,” Twitter said. It added that it hoped the change nudged people to visit regularly.

The only Twitter users who will remain at 140 characters are those who post in Japanese, Korean or Chinese, the company said. Those languages have alphabets that typically allow for the expression of more thoughts in fewer characters, so adding more characters seemed unnecessary.

Twitter has struggled with making its service accessible to those who are accustomed to a lack of constraints on Facebook, home to billions. But perhaps the company is onto something: Each paragraph in this article after the first is 280 characters long, and you’ve read them all.

NYT > Technology

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