After rolling out a test of 280-character limit for tweets back in September for a small number of users, Twitter is now rolling out the feature worldwide. The new limit is double the old limit of 140 characters.
According to Twitter, during the test, most users didn’t go crazy with the character increase:
We – and many of you – were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character Tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space. But that didn’t happen. Only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters. As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline. For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190 character Tweet.
It’s worth emphasizing again that people in the test got very excited about the extra space in the beginning and many Tweets went way beyond 140. People did silly (creative!) things like writing just a few characters per line to make their Tweets extra large. It was a temporary effect and didn’t last long. We expect to see some of this novelty effect spike again with this week’s launch and expect it to resume to normal behavior soon after.
With the change rolling out, it will only be available on Twitter’s site and official app for the time being. Other third-party apps will require updates for users to take full advantage of the character increase.