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Twitter doubles length of tweets to 280 characters

Queenie Wong, The Mercury News on

Published in Science & Technology News

When Twitter announced in September it was testing longer tweets, some users praised the change while others feared the site would lose its sense of brevity.

Now the San Francisco tech firm is officially doubling the character limit of its tweets to 280 characters.

The change will apply to all languages except for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese because users can convey more information in those languages with fewer characters, Twitter said Tuesday.

Twitter's 140-character tweets have been a part of the site since it launched in 2006, helping the company to set itself apart from other social networks.

Celebrities, athletes and even President Donald Trump use the site to share their thoughts to millions of people.

But Twitter said some of its 330 million users found the 140-character limit frustrating, prompting the tech firm to test longer tweets.

"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 overall," wrote Aliza Rosen, Twitter's product manager.

The tech firm doesn't expect the longer tweets to impact the site's sense of brevity.

Even with the extra characters, users who tested the change tried to keep their thoughts brief. Only 5 percent of tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2 percent were more than 190 characters, Twitter said.

The company didn't disclose how many users have been testing the longer tweets.

Photo Credit: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

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