Twitter Just Gave Everyone 280 Characters & The Internet Has So Much To Say
Only god knows why, but Twitter has officially decided to roll out 280-character tweets for all its users. The social media company made the announcement on Nov. 7, probably expecting cheers. And they got some. But for everyone else this is a horrible idea. And now, many people are complaining by, what else, tweeting about Twitter's 280-character limit.
Twitter rolled out the increased character limit on Tuesday after testing it with select users in September.
In a September blog post about the decision, Twitter Product Manager Aliza Rosen stated that the initial 140-character limit was an arbitrary number that had outlived its usefulness. She wrote,
We understand since many of you have been Tweeting for years, there may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too. But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.
It was met with, some, uh mixed responses. To say the least.
While some of the line break jokes were fun, for the most part, the longer tweets disrupted the aesthetic appeal of the medium. Eighty-tweet threads on SOME GAME THEORY aside, one of the beautiful things about Twitter is the required brevity. Can you say what you want to say in 140 characters?
Either way, it seems like it was popular enough to make a full rollout.
Some people are excited.
Just look at this madness.
Linguistics Twitter is here for 280.
But not everyone is on board.
If you ask, well, a lot of people, 280 characters not only defeats the purpose — how to convey your message succinctly and creatively — of Twitter, but also takes it to an extreme degree.
Why not, say, 160 characters? I would even take 180 characters. But doubling the number of allowable characters to 280 per tweet will just lead to madness. Doubly-boring, doubly-rude, doubly-harass-y madness.
It's just hard to justify 280 characters.
Acrostic about the dumb new character limit for your pleasure?
Twitter has already given mansplainers too much power, and now they can just go on and on and on. And on and on.
The world's greatest literary Twitter account, Melville House, used 280 to the fullest.
But still. hated. it.
Honestly, whoever runs @melvillehouse needs a raise. And also to call me asap, because I want to be friends.
BuzzFeed also read Twitter.
(Get it? They read... Twitter... about reading...?)
Some just got right to the point.
And just look at all these funny tweets. Well under 280 characters. Brevity is the soul of wit, etc., etc.
Though, to be fair, one could argue that there are some good uses for 280 characters.
As far as user experience, more room to complain to brands isn't really what Twitter users are looking for.
It's no secret that Twitter has a serious problem with bots — which is having very real geopolitical consequences, according to Quartz — that spread fake news and exacerbate partisan divides. The social media platform also has a problem with trolls, nasty little do-nothings who make it their mission to harass people — usually women, and especially women of color — into silence by using threats of violence and slurs.
So when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey first announced the limited roll-out of 280-character tweets in September, he was met with demands for Twitter to instead do something about all of the bots and trolls and virulent racists who make the medium hell on earth for people every day.
"Ban nazis instead please," read tweet after tweet.
But it wasn't just Twitter's lack of response to trolls that people were addressing. A lot of users also demanded the ability to edit instead of more characters (which, admittedly, just gives you a bigger chance of f*cking up).
"Edit has 4 characters. Can we start there instead?" one user asked.
Even Chrissy Teigen got in on the roast.
I mean, sure, we could theoretically just leave, but complaining about Twitter on Twitter is peak Twitter. Because it is so dumb and yet necessary and we are all trapped in a prison of our own making.
So if you ask me, this new character limit could mean goodbye to what was once home of some of the cleverest people on the world wide web. Twitter is for self-loathing and short jokes, not Kerouacian ramblings. DISAGREE? DON'T @ ME.