Twitter to test 280-character tweets

Twitter says it’s testing tweets that are as long as 280 characters with a random sample of users. Grace Lee reports.

HONG KONG, CHINA / SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES / INTERNET (REUTERS / UNTV / SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITES) – Cramming your thoughts into 140 characters can be tough work, and it looks like, after more than a decade, Twitter agrees.

The company says it’s now considering doubling the length of tweets, and over the coming weeks it’ll be testing a 280 character limit on a random sample of users.

Twitter says its idea for more characters comes from the way people tweet in Asian languages.

Characters in Chinese, Japanese and Korean can often pack in a lot more meaning than Roman letters, essentially giving people a higher limit.

And the people who tweet in those languages tend to use Twitter more often than people tweeting in English.

Twitter won’t publicly say how many people are included in the test, but co-founder Biz Stone has already made it clear that Donald Trump will not be one of them.

News that came as a relief to many users.

The company has been quick to say that brevity will always be its focus, but it’s been wondering if frustrations over the current character count has been hurting its popularity.

And after a 116 million dollars loss and zero user growth in the second quarter alone, there’s a pretty strong argument for shaking things up.