In a move seemingly designed to gladden only trolls and sitting U.S. presidents, Twitter announced Tuesday that, for a “small group” of users, it has increased its longtime 140 character limit to 280.
Predictably, a bunch of people are freaking out.
Although it’s unclear when the change will be rolled out to all users, everyone on Twitter can currently see and interact with the few 280-character whoppers out there—including this statement from CEO Jack Dorsey.
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
Did anyone read that? Let me know if you did—it was a little long for me. Anyway, reactions at the moment are ranging from outrage to “TL;DR” jokes to genuine concerns about online abuse as well as Trump’s now-doubled ability to spur international conflict with the click of a button.
The 280-character limit is a terrible idea. The whole beauty of Twitter is that it forces you to express your ideas concisely (1/47)
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) September 26, 2017
Maybe Twitter thinks Trump won’t start nuclear armageddon if he just has twice the characters to explain himself in?
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) September 26, 2017
| 280 |
| IS |
| TOO |
| MANY |
— SanFranciscoMagazine (@sanfranmag) September 26, 2017
Will threads be half as long or twice as long
— Emma Hinchliffe (@_emmahinchliffe) September 26, 2017
*Us*: Twitter has a problem with harassment in 140 characters
*Twitter*: NOW YOU CAN HARASS PEOPLE WITH 280 CHARACTERS!
— Josh Hill (@jdavhill) September 26, 2017
honestly think of what lebron can do with 280 characters
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) September 26, 2017
Developing story: Haiku is testing a six-line, 10/14/10 verse form.
— Keith Phipps (@kphipps3000) September 26, 2017
Just another fun day online! Happy tweeting, and may the brevity, speed, and essence of Twitter continue to delight you.