Twitter is preparing to double its 140-character limit on tweets to 280 characters.
The microblogging site announced Tuesday that it had begun a trial with a "small group" of twits that would allow for twice as many letters, numbers, and symbols to be placed into each individual tweet.
Not surprisingly, CEO Jack Dorsey is among those who will get to enjoy the roomier tweet constraints, gushing today on his website:
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
According to product manager Aliza Rosen and senior software engineer Ikuhiro Ihara, the move was influenced in part by Twitter observations on the differences between languages and how users who spoke one language could be more constrained than those using another.
"Sometimes, I have to remove a word that conveys an important meaning or emotion, or I don't send my Tweet at all. But when Iku Tweets in Japanese, he doesn't have the same problem," Rosen explained.
"He finishes sharing his thought and still has room to spare. This is because in languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French."
Move over Moore's Law. There's now @Jack's Law.— The Register (@TheRegister) September 26, 2017
The maximum number of characters in a tweet doubles every 10 years.
Users, meanwhile, seem to want Twitter, which turned 10 years old last year, to address a few more pressing issues before tackling the character limit:
Good idea, but you know how you could really improve Twitter? Get rid of all these freaking Nazis.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) September 26, 2017
is there any way you guys can make it so that all the verified nazis on here actually enter my home and scream at me IRL— Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle) September 26, 2017
How about those bots? Can you fix those first? I don't her anyone asking for extra characters but I hear people SCREAMING about the bots.— PebblesJ (@MadisonJourdan) September 26, 2017
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
In true enterprise IT fashion, El Reg will tweet 141 to 280-character tweets as two 140 character tweets for backwards compatibility reasons— The Register (@TheRegister) September 26, 2017
Twitter did not say when the trials will end or when it can be expected to make a decision on raising the character limit to 280. ®