Twitter's plan to limit public trials of 280-character tweets has been foiled by web devs, who discovered the feature could be enabled by twits on the client-side.
Yesterday, the milliblogging giant announced it had begun tests in which a "small group" of selected users would have their per-tweet character limit doubled from 140 to 280.
Not surprisingly, within hours netizens began to look into the underpinnings of the feature. It wasn't long before someone realized it could be enabled by setting a flag in the HTTP request when posting a tweet.
From that discovery, a simple script was written to allow anyone with a Twitter account and the Tampermonkey Chrome scripting extension to raise their limit to 280 characters. Here's what to do:
Hey! if you don't have #280characters yet:— xem 🔵 (@MaximeEuziere) September 27, 2017
- install the browser extension Tampermonkey
- add this script in the extension: https://t.co/gGIw21XXK9
- Refresh https://t.co/APVlvOgzEF (in a new tab)
- Compose a 280char tweet
- ignore the counter that still says 140
El Reg tried the script out and found that, indeed, it allows folks to cram 280 characters into tweets and successfully post them.
That's twice as many vultures as we normally get
For those who want to get more hands on, here's the flag in question and how to fling it at Twitter using Curl:
From @dildog:— Rob Graham٩(●̮̮̃●̃) (@ErrataRob) September 27, 2017
Click 'Tweet' in the web ui
F12 Remove 'disable' on the tweet button
Click it, and go to 'network,' right click on the request and copy as cURL
Then, add &weighted_character_count=true as a param to the end of the url
Then, resubmit the tweet with curl.
Twitter says it is aware of the scripts, and while letting users turn on the feature wasn't planned, for now they will not be taking any action to stop the practice, so enjoy your new 280 character limit. Time to start adding footnotes, bootnotes, and forum-like signatures to your tweets. ®
PS: If you're on Twitter - follow The Register, where we tweet article links, bad puns, alternative headlines, URLs to interesting stuff, and terrible jokes about IT.