back to article Twitter to upgrade from micro-blogging to milli-blogging with 280 chars

Twitter is preparing to double its 140-character limit on tweets to 280 characters. The microblogging site announced Tuesday that it had begun a trial with a "small group" of twits that would allow for twice as many letters, numbers, and symbols to be placed into each individual tweet. Not surprisingly, CEO Jack Dorsey is …

  1. Kaltern

    Great... now the idiots of the planet get to abuse their pseudo-eloquence with more long-winded shite...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "President Trump can now trigger nuclear Armageddon in half the time"

    Does his attention span last long enough for 280 characters?

    1. Keef

      In answer your very valid question about his attention span lasting long enough to read 280 characters, I'd say no it doesn't.

      The man is a buffoon, although I do like the 'dotard' description too.

      But I'm struggling to see how adding another 140 characters can halve the time it takes to trigger nuclear Armageddon.

      Surely (don't call me that) adding more characters will delay the pushing of the Big Red Button as the imbecile will almost certainly fry his brain by trying to comprehend such a lengthy string.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In order to save Twitter ...

      ... we had to destroy the World.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      "Does his attention span last long enough for 280 characters?"

      My thoughts exactly.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He's got an attention span?

      Who knew?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does his attention span last long enough for 280 characters?

      Given his preferred tweet location it may actually help him with his digestion..

    6. katrinab Silver badge

      "Does his attention span last long enough for 280 characters?"

      No, because despite the negative press covfefe, his attention span on that particular tweet lasted only 34 characters.

  3. Rafael #872397
    Facepalm

    ...Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character...

    I don't think you understand how languages (or different alphabets/character sets) work.

    あほ。

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "あほ。"

      According to Google Translate that doesn't give much improved efficiency for the word "stupid". However - you can use words from different languages in a western alphabet which embody a cultural concept that otherwise takes several words. "Schadenfreude" is a good one = "pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune".

      The whole point of abbreviations in texting is to reduce the letter count by using only consonants - or figures like "8" as syllables - or TLAs. That will give a reduction by a factor ≈ 2.

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      I think you just have to be a bit more flexible in understanding what was intended by "double the amount of information in one character". In fact, as you point out, the shortest translation of あほ would be "fool", which has twice as many characters in English. That's the sense that's intended.

      The CJK languages don't use spaces and many words are only 1 or 2 characters long.

      (382 characters)

      文字に就き情報の二倍と言う事を掴むため、余裕がもっと必要だと思うけど。実は、君の言う通り「あほ」の一番短い英訳が「fool」に成って、長さは日本語より二倍です。そんな解釈が出る。

      日中韓は、間隔も無いし、単語の長さとして、1~2字も多いです。

      (122字)

      Not quite 2:1, but you can see the point.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is this about UTF-8 vs. UTF-16 or literally about visual characters? Does twitter even comply with UTF-16 and the extra bytes?

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          not about utf

          SMS did (still does?) have a 140-byte limit because it was piggy-backing on an existing control channel. The standard didn't include UTF-8 support so what happened was that if you used any Unicode char, a flag was set and all the message was sent as UTF-16, thus losing half the space or being twice as expensive.

          Twitter has always, AFAIK, supported UTF (I guess UTF-8). The 140-char thing counts actual characters, not bytes.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to update my favorite t-shirt...

    http://www.tshirthell.com/funny-shirts/i-dont-need-140-characters-to-say-fuck-you

    1. The Nazz Silver badge

      Oh Yes, Please

      And only 266 characters to spare.

      LOL.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's some funny sh*t

      http://www.tshirthell.com/funny-shirts/star-trek/

  5. Winkypop Silver badge
    Meh

    Meh

    [277 characters remaining]

  6. HildyJ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

    Things change; things get worse.

  7. Barry Rueger

    Sad day

    The thing that makes Twitter stand out (YMMV depending who you follow) is the 140 character limit. To use that effectively you need to be bright, literate, and be able craft a succinct message.

    In the hands of intelligent people that encourages some brilliant writing, some sparkling wit, and frequent moments of insight.

    There's a lovely moment of quiet pride when you craft a perfect 140 character tweet and see the retweets cascade.

    280 characters? SAD!

    1. Tim Seventh

      Re: Sad day

      "The thing that makes Twitter stand out (YMMV depending who you follow) is the 140 character limit."

      Yes and it also encourage people to put in one liner pointless tweet for any argument because there's no space left for real facts and scie [you have reached the 140 character limit]

      Ok, F*** this. [126 character remaining]

  8. frank ly

    Twitting Twitter

    "... a "small group" of twits ..."

    I wasn't aware that 'twit' was the noun for a person that tweeted. You learn something every day on El Reg. Is there a collective noun for twits?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twitting Twitter

      Is there a collective noun for twits?

      An annoyance

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Twitting Twitter

        s there a collective noun for twits?

        An administration.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Twitting Twitter

        Would have said a 'Trump", but that's already taken, "To break wind audibly."

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Twitting Twitter

      I wasn't aware that 'twit' was the noun for a person that tweeted.

      They miss-spelled it. It is easy to make a one letter mistake.

  9. ukgnome

    If you can't troll someone in 140 characters then you are a rubbish troll.

  10. Len Goddard

    In the interest of avoiding another world war ...

    the limit should be reduced to 70 chars.

  11. hplasm
    Thumb Up

    Come on, Reg...

    "In true enterprise IT fashion, El Reg will tweet 141 to 280-character tweets as two 140 character tweets for backwards compatibility reasons"

    Only if the second half is in reverse, to make an unreadable palindrome...

    Make it sew!

  12. Pat Harkin

    Please, Twitter, do not do this.

    And while you're not doing that, could you fix the "thread" issue?

    Specifically, kill it.

    Kill it with fire.

    Take off and nuke it from orbit.

  13. VinceH
    Facepalm

    "In true enterprise IT fashion, El Reg will tweet 141 to 280-character tweets as two 140 character tweets for backwards compatibility reasons"

    You can laugh, but I'll wager that there will be an issue with some third party Twitter clients - I see a few buffer overflows-a-coming.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "third party Twitter clients"

      Errrrr what? You mean people don't send txt msgs to the Twitter number and get txt msgs back any more? How do I get this new fangled stuff working on my Nokia 5110?

  14. Simon Harris Silver badge

    "double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages"

    But don't Japanese, Korean, etc. also need twice the number of bits per character as the standard Latin character set to encode them?

    Remember the tweet character limit was originally set to allow it to fit into one SMS which allows 140 characters for 8-bit Latin sets, 70 characters if you need to extend up to 16-bits.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why

    is everything about Trump? grow up.

    1. David Nash

      Re: Why

      When the most [in]famous current world leader is particularly known for his attachment to Twitter, and this article is about Twitter, why would this not be at least partially about Trump?

    2. breakfast

      Re: Why

      Because that is exactly the way Trump wants things to be.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Why

      "is everything about Trump? grow up."

      Stop being such a sensitive snowflake. Everything isn't about Trump. Sometimes it's about Paris Hylton.

  16. Anonymous Coward
  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Go

    Progress!

    Now it will take my roomful of monkeys trying to recreate the works of Shakespeare on Twitter half the time as before! :)

  18. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    8op

  19. kraftdinner

    I like Twitter and Donald Trump. Obama tweets and everyone is fine - such hipocracy. Hey lefties - if you hate the Donald so much just vote him out in the next election, that's how democracy works. In the meantime shut the f(*&k up. Good on ya' Twitter for mixing it up a bit. Not exactly living in interesting times though....

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