We Don't Need 280 Characters

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The Twitter account for popular crime drama Law And Order: SVU used their first 280 character tweet the only way they really could.

"We - and many of you - were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space", said Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen in a blog post.

The company started testing the longer tweet limit with a small group of users in September.

In all, the tweets received hundreds of thousands of shares, from people apparently mostly annoyed at the change. How much a single character can convey varies in any given language.

Whilst one half of Twitter is seemingly celebrating the news, some have complained that they instead wanted an edit button.

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Twitter's brevity is most of its appeal, but the doubled character count will force us to read, and actually think about, what users are saying.

It should be noted, however, that the new character limit would not be available for all users. Only five percent of users went above 140 characters during the test, and only 2 percent ever went north of 190 characters.

"People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall". The tests showed that the feared negatives for Twitter didn't come true, and the increased limits lets conversation flow faster - which means Twitter gets more use and can make more money.

Twitter originally hit on the 140-character limit as a nod to the character limits placed on early text messages, when it was founded in 2007.

Twitter has ruined itself by letting people post longer tweets, according to the world's biggest authors.

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