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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Twitter rolls out 280-character tweets to the majority of users of the social media site

The move was initially trialled in September, when selected people were given the ability to write longer posts

Twitter says it is rolling out a 280-character limit to nearly everyone, ending the iconic 140-character restriction. AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Twitter says it is rolling out a 280-character limit to nearly everyone, ending the iconic 140-character restriction. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The social media company Twitter announced on Tuesday that more users of the service would have the count doubled to 280 characters for them to express themselves, up from the original 140.

The move was initially trialled in September, when selected people were given the ability to write longer posts. Now the firm plans to roll it out to many more of its 330 million users - which include such high-profile tweeters as US president Donald Trump.

Aliza Rosen, a product manager at the site, wrote a blog explaining the thinking behind the decision.

“During the first few days of the test, many people tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behaviour normalised.

“We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained.”

The firm is making the changes because despite being such an integral part of so many people’s lives, the firm is still trying to become as profitable as rival Facebook.

One of the USPs of the service was the brevity that it enforced on users. There has been a wave of criticism of the move to 280 characters, with some tweeters claiming they will leave the site. But Ms Rosen said that increasing the character count shouldn't affect people's experience on Twitter.

“This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning tweets before sending.

“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.”