Twitter and Snapchat Announce Changes

08 November, 2017

This is What's Trending Today...

Social media services Twitter and Snapchat announced this week they are taking on new looks. Both services have far fewer users than Facebook, and are seeking to expand their audiences.

Twitter is expanding its message limit to 280 characters for nearly all its users, ending its well-known 140-character limit.

And Snapchat, long popular with young people, will make changes in hopes of becoming easier for everyone to use. It has yet to provide details of the changes.

This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo, shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo, shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Twitter says that 9 percent of tweets written in English reached the 140-character limit. As a result, users had to spend time reworking the wording of tweets. By removing that barrier, Twitter is hoping people will tweet more, increasing the interest of other users.

The Associated Press reports that people around the world are talking about the changes to Twitter.

Some German government officials celebrated the changes Wednesday. Germany's justice ministry wrote that it can now more easily tweet about legislation concerning the oversight responsibilities for marking beef.

The law is known in German as the Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz.

In Rome, student Marina Verdicchio welcomed the changes. She said the move "will give us the possibility to express ourselves in a totally different way and to avoid canceling important words when we use Twitter."

Others were not as excited, including at least one person who repeated the words of Shakespeare: "Brevity is the soul of wit."

The expansion to 280-character tweets will be extended to all Twitter users except those tweeting in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Those languages will still have the 140-character limit. That is because writing in those languages involves fewer characters.

And that's What's Trending Today.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.


Words in This Story

audience - n. the people who watch, read, or listen to something

character - n. a symbol (such as a letter or number) that is used in writing or printing

brevity - n. the quality of being brief; the use of few words to say something

wit - n. an ability to say or write things that are clever and usually funny