Twitter has always prided itself on keeping posts short and sweet by restricting public posts (tweets) to a mere 140 characters. Its unique simplicity has served the platform well but now the company is rethinking its approach. On Monday, Twitter announced that they will be testing out a more expansive tweeting feature with a 280 character limit. That is twice the original amount which the social network believes can greatly benefit the majority of its users affected by what is referred to as “cramming.”
Twitter Product Manager, Aliza Rosen, and Senior Software Engineer, Ikuhiro Ihara discuss their motivations for stepping into new boundaries. Rosen said that tweeting in her native English language often results in revision and downsizing which impacts the “meat” of her posts. Having to cram their thoughts to meet the character limit has been a major source of frustration discouraging users from tweeting altogether.
Their research showed that users with space leftover were posting more frequently in contrast to those with less characters remaining at the end of each tweet. Ihara for instance has more than enough wiggle room when tweeting in Japanese. This is because dialects such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean can express significantly more information with less characters. Therefore, Twitter is focusing on the regions where users are struggling with this the most; which is virtually everywhere. Although nothing is set in stone, they are now randomly selecting Twitter profiles to experiment with the extended character limit option.
RPRNmag staff is curious to see how U.S. President Donald J. Trump is going to respond to Twitter’s character ambitions. It’s become well-known that the Commander in Chief has essentially adopted Twitter as his virtual workspace. Even though at the time of publishing, RPRNmag hasn’t heard back from Twitter, we think it’s fair to assume that Trump has played a pivotal role in the push for a character-cramming solution that would allow him, and the likes of him, to further push his message to his fan base, and his opponents. On too many occasions, we have seen Trump expand upon his message in part 1,2,3 tweets, not to be considered a reasonable conclusion.
In the meantime, Twitter users such as @Prof9 disclosed a loophole to access the 280 character limit in the event that these test trials don’t reach your home office (or perhaps the oval office?). Still, only time will tell on whether or not this new strategy will work and if it should be implemented in the long run.