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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

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court is set to hear a challenge Wednesday to a vaccine mandate planned for New York City school employees.

Why it matters The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system. But a judge on Friday temporarily blocked the measure, per AP.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak train derails in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

An Amtrak train derailed near Joplin, Montana, resulting in at least three deaths and multiple injuries on Saturday, per a Liberty County Sheriff's Office statement to media outlets.

The big picture: Some 147 passengers and 13 crew were aboard the Empire Builder train, which runs from Seattle to Chicago, when five cars derailed about 4p.m., Amtrak spokesperson Kimberly Woods said in an emailed statement. The National Transportation Safety Board said it's investigating the derailment.

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City.. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.