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Twitter says 280 character posts have made people more polite and conversational

People still mostly tweet below the character limit, according to site's data

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 31 October 2018 17:48 GMT
The Twitter logo is seen at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California
The Twitter logo is seen at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

Twitter's longer tweets have made people more polite and conversational – despite the fact that users are not actually likely to take up the full 280 characters.

That's according to new analysis from the site, published on the one-year anniversary of the decision to get rid of the iconic 140 character limit and allow people to post twice as long.

Twitter said since then there has been a significant improvement in the politeness and manners of people on the site. With the extra space, there have been 54 per cent more pleases and 22 per cent more thank yous, Twitter said.

What's more, people don't have to shrink and abbreviate words to make them fit inside their posts. There has been a dramatic reduction in words like "gr8", "b4" and "sry", while their full versions have significantly increased.

And those posts tend to be more conversational. The number of tweets with question marks have increased by 30 per cent and replies have also grown.

Still, most tweets don't actually use up the full limit. Only 12 per cent of posts go longer than the previous limit of 140 characters, and only 1 per cent of them take up the full 280.

Still many of the site's users disagreed with the sense that things had become better on the site. When Twitter co-founder Biz Stone tweeted out the statistics, explaining that the 140 limit was introduced by CEO Jack Dorsey after he had pointed out it was inconsistent, he was hit with a flurry of posts pointing out the problems that continue to blight the site.

"Cool! Now you should turn to Jack and tell him people are harassed daily on your site, TOS is unevenly enforced, and people are actually making good on threats of physical violence," wrote one user. "Then urge him to update the code. Please, thank you!"

The post has since received 1,000 other replies, largely pointing out problems with the service.

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