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Twitter takes the tweet limit to 280 characters

Twitter announced this week that it will double the limit for tweets to 280 characters in a bid to draw more users and increase engagement at the social media network. Its hallmark 140 character cap had encouraged the users to craft succinct missives and is now allowing users twice the space to voice their thoughts. This ushers a new era for the online platform. In an attempt to make it easier and faster for individuals to express themselves, Twitter started testing an increase to its limit in early September. The changes will be rolled out in all languages except Korean, Japanese and Chinese.

Twitter was founded 11 years ago and this is the first time the tweet character cap has been raised. It has been lagging behind the rival social media networks in terms of user growth and also struggling to reach profitability. With this change, they could transform the nature of service.

In the initial testing period, people used the full 280 limit because it was novel and new, but soon after they restricted the tweets to 140 which maintained the brevity of Twitter. Twitter changed the way people communicate in the internet age and now has again brought a shift by doubling the character limit. It is hoped that this move will slow down the speed with which users consume information and will bring more clarity.

US President Donald Trump favors Twitter for making significant policy announcements as well as criticizing allies and taunting opponents. He sent his inaugural 280 tweet while he was in South Korea as a part of his Asia tour. Some users are of the opinion that longer tweets could change the nature of the messaging platform which is popular with politicians and journalists but has failed to win the mass appeal of rivals like Facebook. There is also a worry that raising the character cap will give blowhards and abusers more room to spout.

The company went public in 2013 but has never reported profit, although it has a loyal base of celebrities, journalists and political figures. Longer test tweets got a larger engagement by others using the service. While analysts maintain longer tweets are not the solution for Twitter and could even change the appealing ability to take in messages with glances. There is another risk of making Twitter look a bit more like Facebook and could prompt Facebook to respond to what might seem like a competitive threat.

Users welcomed the news raising the character cap and some already resorted to long strings of tweets. Twitter reported that its loss for the past quarter narrowed as the company suggested it could reach profitability for the first time in the fourth quarter. Twitter reached a monthly active user base of 330 million in 2017.

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