Since Twitter launched in in July 2006, the social networking website has been best known for its 140 character limit in its updates. However, all that could change with the introduction of the longer 280-character limit.

Why is Twitter upping the character limit?

According to Twitter, allowing users to post Tweets with more characters allows “every person around the world to easily express themselves”.

In a blog, Aliza Rosen, Product Manager at Twitter, explained that cramming thoughts into a Tweet isn’t a problem for all Twitter users.

She explained: “For example, when I (Aliza) Tweet in English, I quickly run into the 140 character limit and have to edit my Tweet down so it fits.

“Sometimes, I have to remove a word that conveys an important meaning or emotion, or I don’t send my Tweet at all.

“But when Iku Tweets in Japanese, he doesn’t have the same problem. He finishes sharing his thought and still has room to spare.

“This is because in languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese or French.”

Twitter Characters By Country

When will the new Twitter character limit be available?

Currently, the 280-character limit is being trialled among a small group of people, namely those who work at Twitter headquarters. Twitter will then make a decision whether to rollout the new character limit to all users.

However, Twitter user Prof9 has found a workaround that enables anyone to post 280 character tweets in the Twitter web client.

How was the announcement received on Twitter?

The announcement was greeted with a mixed reaction on Twitter, with users demanding other features such as an edit button and an improved system for reporting abusive behaviour.