You Will All Adapt To Twitter’s 280 Character Limit, Whether You Like It Or Not

280 characters? That’s too many! 140 characters was fine. Twitter was going to ruin the experience that made it good!

That was what I was thinking when I first heard about Twitter’s update to allow 280 characters for its users. I thought this new feature would ruin the Twitter experience. But after a couple of days with the experience, I’ve changed my mind. This new update will NOT destroy Twitter. It may actually enhance it.

Adapting To Change

Do you remember how Facebook has changed over the years? Probably not. That’s because your brain has already adjusted to the current iteration of Facebook.

Old Facebook UI

Back in the day, there wasn’t any such thing as a Facebook “News Feed”. Actually, when Facebook introduced the feature, users threatened to boycott and even sue Facebook. But after a while, the storm calmed down and everybody eventually embraced the new design and everything went back to normal.


Twitter also changed its interface. Remember? Of course not. That’s because your brain has already adjusted to the change and accepted its current format. Twitter’s new 280 character is also one of those changes which users will eventually adapt to.

Change is different and people don’t like change. It’s normal. When you grow accustomed to something and it becomes different, you’re going to get uncomfortable. Basically, you’ll squirm, threaten a boycott but eventually, you’ll get over it and learn to live with it.

Also, there’s not much competition for Twitter when you think about it. You may not like the new feature but honestly, where else will you go? It’s like Facebook when it changed its user interface. Users went to alternative platforms but they all came back because that was where their friends and family were.

280 Characters? It’s Not So Bad

I was hesitant at first but then I realise the change wasn’t so drastic. First of, I don’t usually use all the 280 characters. If I’m being honest, not being limited to 140 characters when trying to express a full opinion is satisfying.

The only question is whether users will be more engaging when they see a long string of characters on their timeline. It could become a Too Long;Didn’t Read (TL;DR) situation especially given the short attention span of internet users and the constant influx of tweets.

According to Twitter, not all Twitter testers actually used ALL 280 characters in their tweets. So it’s almost safe to say that you’re not always going to get a barrage of 280 characters in your timeline all the time.

Twitter testers using character limit before and after 280 characters | Image Credit: Twitter

The new character limit can give news sites and brands more room to advertise, inform readers and give more context for their followers.

The only question is whether users will be more engaging when they see a long string of characters on their timeline. It could become a Too Long;Didn’t Read (TL;DR) situation especially given the short attention span of internet users and the constant influx of tweets.

280 Is The New 140

Twitter’s new 280 character limit is not going to break Twitter. Just like how many other software and platforms adapt or change over time, it will be the same with Twitter. We’ll all scream and shout, but eventually, we’ll continue to use this incredibly free platform. Users will adapt as well. If not, they can leave the platform (which they won’t).

I don’t think the 280 characters will draw in more users to the platform. But it’s not going to destroy it either.

280 is the new 140 characters. You either adapt or not.

Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator and editor of TechNovaGh.com, an online digital platform focusing on technology in Ghana.I'm also a UX Designer, book reader, and tech enthusiast (duh!)Email: [email protected]

Comments

comments

  1. I agree with Twitter’s 280 characters expansion for the tweets as it is providing more exposure to you in order to write down your thoughts. Even if you didn’t like this update, you can continue with your 140 characters only tweets. So, what is the problem?

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