(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Twitter rolls out a 280 character limit and absurdity ensues

The social media platform is expanding the length of its messages, but users think there are more pressing needs


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Taylor Link
September 27, 2017 4:13PM (UTC)

On Tuesday, Twitter solved a problem few users realized they had when the social media platform introduced a 280 character limit — double the original 140 — for a handful of test users.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted Tuesday that the move was a small change that solves "a real problem people have when trying to tweet." He insisted that the solution will still allow Twitter to maintain its "brevity, speed, and essence."

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Most Twitter users, however, found the change unnecessary, and even those selected to use the new 280 character limit made a mockery of the situation.

The move was made, in part, because users who tweet in English have a tougher time meeting the 140 character limit. Languages such as Japanese, Korean and Chinese are more compact and allow thoughts to be conveyed in smaller character counts.

Still, even the English-speaking Twitter users did not seem to appreciate the change. While the solution may help people compose tweets, the 280 characters makes it difficult to consume them.

Moreover, doubling the character limit may have been a little excessive, which was made apparent by the test users.

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Many users were baffled that the platform spent time and energy on the composition of a tweet as opposed to the real and present threat of harassers on Twitter.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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