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Twitter character limit increased from 140 to 280

Posted September. 28, 2017 07:47,   

Updated September. 28, 2017 08:49


Twitter has announced a drastic change to its symbolic “140-character limit” policy and increase the number of characters to 280. Twitter went ahead with this change, given that 140 characters are not enough to satisfy the users’ desire to express themselves. It is expected that U.S. President Donald Trump’s blunt remarks against North Korea will become even more sophisticated on Twitter, which he uses several times a day,

Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer (CEO) of Twitter, announced Tuesday (local time) Twitter’s change in policy by posting a twit based on 280-character limit, “140 was an arbitrary choice based on 160-character SMS limit. This (280-character policy) is a small change, but a big move for us.”

Twitter is planning to apply this new policy to languages such as English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. The original policy will remain for Korean, Chinese and Japanese, however, as Twitter has identified that these languages can deliver more messages than other languages. Twitter is testing the 280-character policy to a small subset of its 328 million users before deciding whether to expand the new policy.

Twitter had been competing with Facebook and adhered to its 140-character limit for 11 years, putting up “easy and fast communication.” As Twitter, with less users than Facebook, has seen its performance fell behind Facebook, it has brought some change to its identity. Twitter has also reflected the recent environment where more users express themselves with fancy videos and photographs through various new medias. “Rising political polarization and racial tension have led to increased desire to express one’s opinion actively through SNS,” explained Son Tae-gyu, professor at Dankook University.

“President Trump will be able to threaten war against North Korea more elaborately,” the Guardian said with sarcasm. In fact, North Korea has been reacting sensitively to the U.S. president’s twits. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Young Ho said, It is a clear declaration of war,” in response to President Trump’s twit posted on Saturday, “The two men (Kim Jong Un and Ri Yong Ho) won’t be around for much longer.”

Eun-A Cho achim@donga.com