Suddenly, people on Twitter are learning to be polite again -- and it's all thanks to last year's 280-character update

Twitter says it’s okay to be nice again. Picture: Getty Images

People actually are still polite and know how to use punctuation – they just haven’t been allowed to.

A study of Twitter in the year, since the character limit increased from 140 to 280, has found users are now much more inclined to use the words “please” and “thank you,” are starting to ditch abbreviations, and are asking more questions.

Twitter was roundly mocked last year for finally caving in and breaking the one rule that made it different from all other social media platforms, but it said it made the change because it wants every person around the world to express themselves more easily.

Here’s what @TwitterData has noted in the year since the change:

  • More please and thank you:

  • Abbreviations are used less.

  • The number of Tweets with a question mark (“?”) has increased by 30% and overall, tweets are receiving more replies; and
  • The data is for English, but the findings are consistent across the world in the seven languages Twitter analysed.

Here’s a bit of a surprise – the average length of tweets has actually shrunk, from 34 characters under the 140-character limit to 33 characters under the 280-character limit.

Just 6% of tweets globally are spilling over the 140 limit (12% of English tweets), and only 1% of all tweets actually hit the 280-character limit.

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