Twitter now lets you tweet 280-character updates

Screengrab via Timrasett  Internet Archive

A small group of users will see the new limits before Twitter decides on rolling out the changes more broadly. Timrasett along with another user going by name HackneyYT broke Twitter's character limit with a message that begins "People!"

Twitter is now officially making 280-character tweets available to everyone after testing longer tweets with a subset of its users for the past two months.

Though neither user has offered any details on the exact method they used to send out this monster tweet, some have speculated that the use of certain URL suffixes (such as.cc) is what allowed for the exploit. With the expanded character count, this problem was massively reduced - that number dropped to only 1% of Tweets running up against the limit.

Before the tests - which were limited to a few users, but easy to participate in thanks to third-party tools - roughly 9 percent of tweets ran right up against the 140-character limit.

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To try and get more people Tweeting, it had a cunning plan. The 140-character limit has been around as long as Twitter has been and has become part of the product's personality.

It shouldn't be a surprise that even a company built on language limitations has relaxed them, said Deborah Tannen, professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. Snapchat, she noted, was much faster to move away from its defining feature - ephemeral messaging.

'Additionally, many people tweet in multiple languages, sometimes within a single tweet'. For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190 character Tweet. On that front, we don't have answers yet.

Increasing the character limit should not affect people's experience on the site, she added. However, in a blog post published on Tuesday (7 November) the company was quick to assuage its community, saying that only 5% of tweets sent by users selected for testing were longer than 140 characters and that just 2% were over 190 characters. And, in the end, that's really what matters to Twitter.

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