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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

A divided nation flocks to partisan brands

Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Americans are leaning into companies that have strong political positions, in the wake of one of the country's most divisive election years.

Driving the news: New rankings from the Axios/Harris 100 poll — an annual survey to gauge the reputation of the most visible brands in the country — show that brands with clear partisan identifications are becoming more popular.

America is finally winning its fight against the coronavirus

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

America’s battle against the coronavirus is going great.

The big picture: For the first time in a long time, nobody needs to cherry-pick some misleading data to make it seem like things are going well, and the good news doesn’t need an endless list of caveats, either. It’s just really good news. We’re winning. Be happy.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Israeli forces said they had killed a senior Hamas commander in May 12 airstrikes. Gaza's health ministry said children died in the strikes. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 continued into early Thursday. It comes days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.