For years before it happened, people debated whether it should. And when Twitter finally did double the maximum length of a tweet–which it did a year ago today–some of us were skittish about such a fundamental shift.
But according to some stats the company is releasing to mark the anniversary, Twitter hasn’t changed that much in the 280-character era, aside from getting a bit more comprehensible and, maybe, polite:
- The most commmon tweet length has actually gone down by one character, from 34 to 33
- 88% of tweets are still 140 characters or under
- Only 1% of tweets hit the 280 character limit
- The use of abbreviations to save space has greatly decreased (and those who do use them, I think, look sillier than ever)
- Use of “please” and “thank you” are up by 54% and 22% respectively
When 280 characters arrived, I intended, briefly, to stick to a personal 140-character limit. That turned out to be tough to accomplish, since Twitter also did away with the precise character counter in favor of a little circle that filled in as you typed. Today, I don’t obsess over how many characters I’m tweeting. But please, Twitter–don’t even think about upping the count to 560.