Twitter allows users 280 characters to speak their minds

Mateo Kepa Galeng uses Twitter to stay in touch with close friends –Leighland Tagawa

On November 7, Twitter officially allowed its users 280 characters per tweet in all languages except for Japanese, Korean and Chinese. These three languages were excluded because they already have the ability to shorten sentences by using different characters or symbols.

“I think Twitter adding 280 characters is a good thing as it allows for longer comments and posts while keeping thoughts together rather than separating them into multiple posts,” said Mateo Kepa Galeng, a former WCC student.

Previously, the maximum amount of characters per tweet was 140. The company tested the 280-character idea back in September before making it official.

Twitter doubled the character count in an attempt to draw in new users and give them more characters to expand their thoughts and opinions. WCC student Chad Quinones uses Twitter to stay in the know with close friends.

“Unlike Facebook where posts are more focused on events, someone on Twitter could post a mood that they felt, something they thought was funny, or an awkward peek into their life, and it’s easy to start up a conversation with them that didn’t feel superficial,” Quinones said. “I tweet thoughts that come to mind or funny things that happen in my life with the intent to entertain the friends I keep close with. I’m not interested in virality rather just brighten someone’s day with a stupid joke.”

According to, Twitter is one of the most popular social media sites, only behind Facebook, Instagram and Qzone (a Chinese social media app) in its number of users. Twitter was created on March 21, 2006, by Jack Dorsey, and its headquarters are in San Francisco.

Twitter has expanded a lot since 2006. Today, the company is worth about $13 billion and has over 300 million users. Even President Donald Trump and former President Barrack Obama have used Twitter during their campaigns and while in office.

According to, President Trump first joined Twitter in 2009 and tweets an average of five times per day. Trump is one of the most followed Twitter users with 43.4 million followers.

But Trump only ranks 21st on the most followed Twitter users list. Of the top ten Twitter users on’s list, six are music artists such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake. Rihanna is ranked #5 with 83 million followers, Taylor Swift ranks #4 with 85.6 million followers, Obama is #3 with 97.2 million followers, Justin Bieber is #2 with 103.7 million followers, and at number 1 is Katy Perry with 106.7 million followers.

Although Twitter thinks that expanding to 280 will only help the site grow, Quinones thinks differently.

“I think Twitter expanding to 280 characters, from a creative standpoint, is a bit of a cop-out,” he said. “Part of the appeal of Twitter was avoiding long drawn out posts and focusing in on succinct eloquence, in comparison to other platforms of social media.”

Quinones thinks Twitter is fine just the way it is.

“Though an edit feature would be nice, I don’t think twitter needs to change,” he said. “I think the people that use Twitter need to change. If users put more consideration into the things they post and realize that, like in the real world, you just need to figure out how to peacefully coexist, then the vitriol that often comes from Twitter wouldn’t be so overwhelming to the users.”


by Leighland Tagawa, Ka ‘Ohana Editor in Chief