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article imageOp-Ed: Now Trump tweets can be twice as long!

By Ken Hanly     Nov 7, 2017 in Internet
After what Twitter describes as a successful trial run with select users in September the company announced that it will be setting the maximum character limit at 280 characters double the 140 characters allowed now.
While the trial run in September was only for select users, the Verge describes a work around that allowed all users to tweet 280 characters.
The new limit is scheduled to take effect at 9 p.m. on Tuesday November 7.
When the trial run of the 280 character version was initiated there was a fierce backlash from some Twitter users who often react angrily to any change in Twitter.
Some complained that Twitter had lost its way as the essence of Twitter was brevity. Perhaps the old saying should be: "Brevity is the soul of nitwits."
The original limit of 180 characters was set when people were expected to send and read tweets via text messages. Text messages could be up to 160 characters. Twitter set the limit below that at 140 so there would be room left for a username. The brevity was not a result of trying to make people be virtuously brief but was forced upon them by the technology of the time.
Twitter's response to their trials reveals that they as well think that somehow it would be an abuse if all users had used all the 280 characters: "But Twitter said its experiment with 280 characters had shown that people are not abusing the feature. It said those who had access to longer tweets only went past the original 140-character limit 5 per cent of the time, and only past 190 characters 2 per cent of the time."
Twitter also reported that those who tried out the new limit spent more time on Twitter, and also received more likes and retweets than those who remained on the regular limit
Only two per cent of tweets used up the full 280 characters as compared to nine percent who use up the present 140.
Aliza Rosen, Twitter product manager said: "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. As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of tweets in your timeline."
Rosen said that people in the trial claimed that they felt more satisfied with how they expressed themselves. They felt that the higher limit increased their ability to find good content.
Twitter said that more space made it easier to fit thoughts into a tweet allowing one to compose tweets faster.
Tweets in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese will remain at the existing 140 limit as the languages allow more to be said with fewer characters.
Personally I find the increased limit to be a great reform. I spend considerable time trying to shorten tweets and end up leaving out material I wanted to include. If the longer tweets bother people, they can just skip them.
Everyone is waiting to see if Trump's vocabulary is sufficient for him to come near using up the full 280 characters.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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