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Richard Drew / AP

The day has come: Twitter, after years of forcing users to express themselves through its signature 140-character limit, is doubling that length for everyone's tweets (save for those in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese). The company began to test these longer tweets in September with a few users, though it was first rumored to be considering extending the character limit almost two years ago.

The big moment: Will this fundamentally change the nature of Twitter? The character limit has been iconic and it's even led to the "tweetstorm" as a workaround for longer thoughts and ideas that can't fit in one tweet (which Twitter filed to trademark in 2015), along with other creative solutions like screen shots of longer messages.

Yes, but: The company has been under pressure from Wall Street to boost its growth, so it has spent the last several years experimenting with new features to make its service more appealing or easier to understand to more people. Twitter says that its experiment showed that users got more followers and interactions, spent more time on the service, and were more satisfied.

Still, there are critics: Twitter's most passionate and frequent users, however, haven't always been pleased with the changes, even though Twitter says the longer tweet limit hasn't affected the experience much. During its experiment, it says only 5% of tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters.

  • The company is still faced with the challenge of quelling problems with abuse and harassment that users experience on its service, though it's recently moved to make bolder changes in its policies. It's also been criticized for spending its time on features like this one instead of its users' safety on the service.

Go deeper

Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial

Sarah Palin. Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, delaying the start of her defamation trial against the New York Times.

Why it matters: The trial will be closely watched, as it's a rare instance of a major media company defending its editorial practices before an American jury.

S&P 500 slides into correction territory

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their worst drop of the year, pushing the S&P 500 on track to fall into a "correction."

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated."
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated — Annual vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate — Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance — Arizona governor sues Biden administration over funds tied to mandates.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker