Twitter announced on Tuesday it was testing one of the biggest changes to the service in its 11-year history.
Tweets had previously been limited to 140 characters. Many considered that Twitter’s defining characteristic.
But now it’s testing tweets that can be twice as long. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the change in a tweet made up of exactly 280 letters, numbers, and symbols.
But the real question is what Twitter’s notoriously snarky userbase made up of tech nerds, politics journalists, sports fans, and Russian bots thinks. So far, it seems like they hate it.
Here are some tweets:
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
‘Ban Nazis pls’
‘We’re making your display a pic a circle’
“Can you ban the Nazis pls’
Can we have a smart edit function instead
hi jack, this is bad. twitters user retention/engagement problems do not stem from the 140 character limit. fire the product team. thanks https://t.co/cVMFmMdeuo
— jon hendren (@fart) September 26, 2017
RIP my favourite twitter joke: the one where you write a really absurd line and stretch it out as long as you possibly can so it hits the cha
— austin walker (@austin_walker) September 26, 2017
and just hear us out on this…
the world: trump gonna get us kilt via tweets
twitter: OK here’s more characters!
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) September 26, 2017
Some people are wondering how famous Twitter user President Donald Trump will take the news.
Will decide whether or not this is a good or bad thing later, but right now I’m just begging you guys not to give the 280 limit to Trump https://t.co/r3A2UjpxS0
— zak ali (@_zakali) September 26, 2017
VC Bill Gurley, who backed Twitter before it was a public company, likes the move, though.
Can’t wait for 280.
— Bill Gurley (@bgurley) September 26, 2017
So does The New York Times’ Silicon Valley columnist:
I still think this is a great idea. Think of it this way: it will probably cut down on threads. Also no more dumb abbreviations.
— Farhad Manjoo ???????? (@fmanjoo) September 26, 2017
Ultimately, the key audience for this change will be normal people who aren’t addicted to Twitter. Some like it!
Twitter giving me 280 characters thank you thank you thank you
— Shawnald McDonald (@ShawnSnawn) September 26, 2017