It was September. Random accounts were chosen to get the update first—a controversial doubling of the character allowance on Twitter. People were furious. Obviously everything beautiful about the cleverly-crafted 140-character tweet would be dead.
Famous tweeter and model Chrissy Tiegen led a protest against the update on Twitter declaring her “fight song” as well as other celebrities. Here are a few reactions:
I will NEVER use 280 characters nor will I favorite or retweet a tweet with them. THIS IS MY FIGHT SONG
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 8, 2017
280 characters? F*** that.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 8, 2017
Twitter’s destroyed its USP. The whole point, for me, was how inventive people could be within that concise framework. #Twitter280characters
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) November 8, 2017
Did 280 Characters Change Twitter?
It’s been four months since Twitter doubled the character limit to all 330 million of its users. From the report Twitter released last week, it looks like the anxiety might have been unwarranted. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reported to investors that the average tweet-length has remained unchanged at 50 characters.
Twitter released a graph that illustrates most users are not using the additional characters in their tweets. Only 1 percent of tweets reach the 280-character limit. When the limit was 140 characters, 9 percent of tweets hit the limit. However, Twitter found that since the update engagement has gone up now that the pressure to fit full thoughts in 140 characters is gone.
How the Update made Twitter user-friendly
While Twitter is still struggling to get new users, Dorsey told The Verge that the new limit was helping Twitter keep more of its users and removed some of the confusion that comes with using the platform. Aliza Rosen, a product manage for Twitter, wrote a blog explaining Dorsey’s comments and explaining the results of the new character limit experiment.
“We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often,” she wrote. “But importantly, people Tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained.”