Twitter doubles length of tweets to 280 characters

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While many Twitter users reacted with horror to the tests, Twitter said in a blog post that the higher limit made people more likely to tweet, left fewer than 1 percent of users hungry for more room and increased "engagement" - its umbrella term for likes, replies and retweets. Many prominent figures who use the platform blasted the new 280-character limit, citing concerns that the new length will take away from the speed and character of Twitter. This follows a trial that started in late September, during which a select group of users had their character limits expanded from 140 to 280.

The company announced on Tuesday it is doubling how many characters users can cram into a tweet.

Historically, the company has only seen 0.4 per cent of Japanese tweets hit 140-character limit, whereas more tweets written in English use up the full space (9 per cent). The result is that users spend too much time trying to edit their tweets down, or abandon them altogether.

Users have already employed clever tactics to stretch beyond 140 characters, such as screenshots of longer messages or tweetstorms, a series of connected tweets.

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The users in question - Timrasett and HackneyYT - reportedly worked together to find an exploit that allowed them to send out 35,000 characters of nonsensical letters and numbers, effectively shattering Twitter's existing character limits. This shows that more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before. Only five percent of users went above 140 characters during the test, and only 2 percent ever went north of 190 characters.

'It was a temporary effect and didn't last long. We expect to see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week's launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after.

"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", said Rozen.