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The Funniest Reactions To Twitter's New 280 Character Limit

Double the characters, double the space to express yourself.

27/09/2017 11:34 AM AEST | Updated 27/09/2017 11:36 AM AEST
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The 280 character tweet is Twitter's latest thing.

Brevity, or concise writing, is the soul of Twitter.

So when Twitter announced on Tuesday that it's trialing 280 character tweets, some people couldn't help but feel that the soul of Twitter is in danger.

While the change is only available to a small group at the moment, people certainly have an opinion about the new development.

It's a real mixture of outrage and frustration, but Twitter has some real reasons why this change has occured.

Twitter says it wants all of its users around the world to express themselves, regardless of the language they speak. According to Twitter, languages including English, French, Portuguese or Spanish use more characters in their tweets than those written in Korean, Japanese or Chinese. Most tweets in Japanese average on 15 characters, where those in English reach 34.

Twitter
The same tweet in three different languages.
​​​​​​Further to this, nine percent of tweets in English reach the character limit, where a tiny 0.4 percent of those in Japanese hit the 140.

"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," Twitter said in a statement.

"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!"

Twitter
Nine percent of tweets in English hit the 140 character limit.

The 140 character limit came about years ago, when a SMS system was developed to send messages to small groups of recipients. Eventually this became Twitter, and one of its biggest appeal factors in the early days was that is was -- and still is -- a mobile-based message system, where people could receive tweets on their phones.

Since the world wide standard text message size was 160 characters, the developers of Twitter made the tweet limit 140 characters, leaving enough room for the sender's name.This meant that people receiving a tweet via SMS would receive it in one single message under 160 characters. This way there was no extra info spilling over into messages or attachments.

Getty Images
140 character limit used to make it easier to receive tweets on a mobile phone.

With Twitter's new trial it seems we are doing away with a little piece of history, at least temporarily. Twitter will be monitoring data and feedback about the new trial and following this will announce any permanent changes to the platform.

Twitter claims it has an emotional attachment to the veteran 140 character limit, and honestly, it seems a lot of its users do as well.

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