Twitter Doubles Tweet Character Limit To 280, #DontForgetBrevity Please

The challenge that everyone using Twitter has dealt with at some point is hitting that max character limit. The limit right now is 140 characters, and that can be easy to hit for those that aren't fond of brevity. This means that many end up shortening words to fit in what they need to say or using multiple tweets. That is about to change with Twitter announcing that it is increasing the character limit increase to 280.


Twitter's Aliza Rosen says that in many languages like English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French it's very easy to hit the character limit when trying to express meanings and emotions. At the same time, in languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, people rarely hit the character limit because those languages can express more information in a single character.

To help people with languages that need more characters (all languages except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean), the longer 280-character limit will be rolled out. Twitter justifies this character increase by offering up some data it had collected over the years. It has found that 9% of all Tweets in English hit the 140 character limit while only 0.4% of tweets in Japanese hit the character limit.

Twitter says that most Japanese Tweets are 15 characters while most English Tweets are 34. The social media company says the 140 character limit is a major source of frustration for people Tweeting in English, and that it will try the 280 character limit with a "small group of people before the decision is made to launch for everyone."

tweet140 vs 280

It's not clear exactly how small this group of people will be. Rosen writes, "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."

Twitter promises that the brevity of the platform will never change, so don't expect to see unlimited characters for Tweets in the future. Rosen wrote, "We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint. We are excited to share this today, and we will keep you posted about what we see and what comes next."