clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Twitter users can't stop tweeting about how much they don't want tweets to get longer

Those granted the new 280-character limit mainly used it to protest the new 280-character limit.

Aja Romano writes about pop culture, media, and ethics. Before joining Vox in 2016, they were a staff reporter at the Daily Dot. A 2019 fellow of the National Critics Institute, they’re considered an authority on fandom, the internet, and the culture wars.

So tweets are longer now — but although the feature has so far only been rolled out for a few apparently random Twitter accounts, the majority of the platform’s users have rallied against the change. Among the people who trended #Twitter280 for most of Wednesday, the vast majority seem to prefer the traditional 140-character limit, instead of the new doubling to 280 characters.

While it’s no secret that the fabled 140-character limit has long been a crucial part of Twitter’s identity as a platform and has shaped the “tweet” into its own specific format, what might come as a surprise is how strident and pointed the calls to keep tweets shorter have been.

A large segment of those protesting the change see it as a diversion from more essential improvements to Twitter, like bettering its harassment reporting tools, killing the platform’s giant bot networks, taking an unequivocal stance against hate speech, and banning the Nazis, a phrase that has become all but rote across the site.

Then there are those who just want things to stay shorter and sweeter, because Twitter, they feel, is obnoxious enough without allowing more words.

When asked what he’d do if given the extra 140 characters, Twitter elite Lin-Manuel Miranda rejected the concept philosophically:

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who tweeted about the change initially yesterday, responded cheerfully and positively late Tuesday evening while sidestepping the main criticisms placed before him.

…to which the response was predictable.

Still, among the sea of naysayers could be found a handful of people focusing on the positives:

And a few people with their priorities well in hand:

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.