How the most popular tweets of all time would be ruined by 280 characters

Twitter is currently trialling a new tweet limit, allowing its users double the room to talk.

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

Your honour, it should be noted (on the record!) that Twitter’s decision to extend its character limit from 140 to 280 is bad. Currently undergoing a trial period, new 280 character tweets destroy the foundation of the social network, which is the lone place of brevity and simplicity on the world wide web, yes web, of complexity! Entirely new ways of communicating have flourished and boomed on the site, and new codes of humour have emerged from the need to be short. And now, short we must be. Twitter: you are a bad man.

Now we have that out of the way, how about a little fun? How would Twitter’s new character limit change the site's most popular tweets, had it always been so? What would the best tweets look like with the roomy trousers of 280 characters? This very serious very investigative investigation sought to find out.

Carter Wilkerson’s original: 

The 280-character truth:

HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS. I PLAN TO FEED THEM TO CHICKENS AND LAUGH AS THEY DEVOUR THEIR FRIENDS. THIS IS MY ONE AND ONLY PURPOSE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT


Ellen DeGeneres’ original:

The 280-character truth: If only Bradley’s arm was longer. I dream of a time in which he can tickle me from afar. To feel his fingers brush against me as I swim, yet he is on the land.

#oscars


Barack Obama’s original: 

The 280-character truth: No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion... It took time and effort for me to cultivate my hatred of this little boy on the left.


Hillary Clinton’s original: 

The 280-character truth: To all the little girls watching... never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world. You won’t get them though. There’s absolutely no chance you’ll get them. You’re a girl!


Louis Tomlinson’s original: 

The 280-character truth: Harry, if we publicly cultivate the rumour that we are secretly in love, we can most likely sell more t-shirts. We are secretly in love though. There’s undeniable proof.

P.S. my baby is a lie


JK Rowling’s original: 

The 280-character truth: It's the 16th anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. I'm having a moment's silence over my keyboard. I hated killing some of those people – but it awakened something inside of me. The urge to kill only grows stronger. One Weasley is not enough. I must taste flesh.


As you can conclusively see, nothing good could ever come out of 280-character tweets.

Amelia Tait is a freelance journalist, and was previously the New Statesman's tech and digital culture writer. She tweets at @ameliargh