Twitter Gets It Right

Their most criticised move seems to have worked out well for the social media platform


It was a controversial move on behalf of Twitter, but it looks like their decision to allow users to write 280 character tweets has paid off.

Early data has been released to indicate that Twitter made a smart move making the change, as users are both liking and retweeting longer tweets more. Tweets over the original 140 characters are being retweeted 26.52 times on average, verses an average of 13.71 times for shorter tweets. Similarly, longer tweets are being liked on average 50.28 times, versus 29.96 times for their shorter counterparts.

When the platform first decided to double the length of tweets users could write, from their signature 140 characters to 280, it was a decision that was largely criticised. Users were more concerned by Twitter’s lack of concern around issues of cyberbullying and harassment, and saw the move as a fairly useless change. However, those who were so quick to criticise and mock seem to be eating their words now that the change has rolled out to all users.

Many users – including prominent and frequent tweeter President Donald Trump – are capitalising on the longer length to get their message across. From memes to governmental policy, it looks like Twitter has gotten it right with this break from tradition.

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Sophie Clews is a writer, editor, and student, completing a B.A. in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Melbourne. When she isn’t plugging away in front of a computer, she is usually in the kitchen, inventing new recipes and roasting excessive numbers of vegetables. Her other interests include beauty, fashion, and 90s television.