Ready Or Not, Twitter Is Doubling A Tweet's Character Limit To 280 A global beta group will go through initial testing with the new character limit before Twitter slowly rolls the change out more widely.
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Ready Or Not, Twitter Is Doubling A Tweet's Character Limit To 280

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Ready Or Not, Twitter Is Doubling A Tweet's Character Limit To 280

Ready Or Not, Twitter Is Doubling A Tweet's Character Limit To 280

Ready Or Not, Twitter Is Doubling A Tweet's Character Limit To 280

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/554057389/554057391" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A global beta group will go through initial testing with the new character limit before Twitter slowly rolls the change out more widely.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Twitter announced yesterday that it is doubling its character limit. This is so important, we'll do the math for you - 140 times two is 280 characters.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

(Laughter) But wait. Before you start to type away your expanded thoughts, this is just a small group trial. Twitter won't say much about who is in that small group, but if you are when you go to compose a tweet, you will see the number 280 in the bottom right.

SIEGEL: Now, comedy writer Jess Dweck did not see that number.

JESS DWECK: I was - I wouldn't say upset because, honestly, who cares? It's Twitter. But my initial reaction was negative just because the kind of beauty of Twitter is that it forces you to be really concise.

CHANG: That did not stop her from dreaming up what she'd say in 280 characters. She tweeted it as a photo.

SIEGEL: (Reading) Brevity is the soul of wit, you see, because wit is all about having a sharp, clever response, and there is nothing sharp or clever about needing excess verbiage to explain your point. So I would say that brevity, being brief, is how you best achieve wittiness and capture its soul.

CHANG: Jess Dweck actually got her first TV writing job after someone noticed her funny tweets about the news. She says this news has her confused about the company's priorities.

DWECK: So the main complaint was Twitter needs to stop harassment from racists, literal Nazis, and then their solution was like, oh, let's actually double the amount of harassment they can do.

SIEGEL: Tanya Chen, a deputy social news editor at BuzzFeed News, noted the same reaction.

TANYA CHEN: There were even some pretty dark jokes about how this just allows Twitter trolls to send you even longer and more specific death threats. And, of course, there were a lot of jokes about Trump and his use of Twitter, many jokes about now this giving him more of a platform, more of an opportunity, more room to declare war on multiple countries at the same time.

CHANG: Twitter's co-founder tweeted yesterday that the company is pursuing efforts to combat harassment.

SIEGEL: There's a high possibility that Twitter will roll out the new 280-character limit more widely in the near future. It's being tested in all languages except Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Twitter's reasoning is that in those languages you can already fit in a lot of information in a single character.

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