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After a little more than a month of testing, Twitter is ready to officially flip the switch on its new 280-character limit. Anyone (save for Twitter’s Chinese, Japanese, and Korean-speaking users) can cram a full paragraph’s worth of characters into a single tweet.
The update, which will roll out across the service on Tuesday, upends what’s been one of Twitter’s most iconic features for more than a decade, though the company insists that despite the increased character count it’s still committed to the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter.
But Twitter says its signature 140-character constraint, originally born out of the company’s roots as an SMS-based service, also meant that it wasn’t easy enough to tweet, at least for some (presumably verbose) people. But by raising the threshold from 140 to 280, the company is hoping it will encourage more people to, you know, actually use Twitter.
Twitter first began testing the longer tweets in September when it introduced the feature to a limited set of users. Those tests were apparently successful as Twitter says fewer people have run into its character limitations since it started experimenting with the longer tweets. Twitter shared this graph to illustrate the point:
Moreover, people who took advantage of the longer character count received more engagement, got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter” (though a spike in engagement could be at least partly attributed to the initial novelty of seeing longer tweets).
For most users, though, the biggest adjustment will be getting used to large blocks of text filling their timelines.