One month on, Twitter users are split on 280 characters

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
December 14, 2017, 11:43 AM GMT+0

Opinion is divided on whether allowing longer tweets is better, although the most frequent tweeters are the most opposed

It is just over a month since Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280 characters. The move was a controversial one, and followed a month-long test spent observing the behaviour of selected accounts that were given early access to 280 character tweets.

Now new YouGov Omnibus results show that Twitter users are split on the higher character count. Of 1,200 Twitter users who had used the social network in the month following the change, approaching four in ten (38%) say they like it more now that tweets can be 280 characters long, while around a third (32%) say they preferred it when tweets could only be 140 characters long. The remaining 30% say they don’t know either way.

The most frequent Twitter users – the 33% our sample who say they use Twitter more than once a day – are more likely to disapprove of the change, although they are even more closely split. About half (45%) preferred 140 character Twitter, while 42% like 280 character Twitter more (only 13% don’t have an opinion).

Twitter users most crave retweets and replies

Many Twitter users know of the dopamine hit they get from receiving a notification from the social network. But what do users most hope has happened when they see that glorious little number next to the app icon?

Among all users, the most common desire is for either retweets (including quote retweets) or replies, at 19% apiece. Frequent tweeters are particularly keen on retweets, at 29%, while 22% most want replies.

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