Twitter says it's ending its iconic 140-character limit — and giving nearly everyone 280 characters.
Users tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean will still have the original limit. That's because writing in those languages uses fewer characters.
The feature is being rolled out on the official Twitter app and web interface.
The company says 9 percent of tweets written in English hit the 140-character limit. People end up spending more time editing tweets or don't send them out at all. Twitter hopes that the expanded limit will get more people tweeting more, helping its lackluster user growth. Twitter has been testing the new limit for weeks and is starting to roll it out Tuesday.
The company has been slowly easing restrictions to let people cram more characters into a tweet. It stopped counting polls, photos, videos and other things toward the limit. Even before it did so, users found creative ways to get around the limit. This includes multi-part tweets and screenshots of blocks of text.
Twitter's character limit was created so that tweets could fit into a single text message, back when many people were using texts to receive tweets. But now, most people use Twitter through its mobile app; the 140-character limit is no longer a technical constraint but nostalgia.
Twitter began testing 280-character tweets with select users in September.
In first days of the test, most people tweeted the full 280 limit, Twitter Product Manager Aliza Rosen wrote in a blog post Tuesday. Once the novelty wore off, only 5 percent of tweets sent by people with access to the feature had more than 140 characters. But those users were more engaged, according to Twitter. Also, posts featuring 280 characters received more likes on average.
The social network's character limit has not changed since its launch in 2006.