This is how you can activate the new 280 character tweets on Twitter

This is how you can activate the new 280 character tweets on Twitter

Twitter has now made a major announcement.

No, it's not that they're going to crack down on the abusive content posted by some of its users, or review their lenient policies on harassment, bullying and hate speech, it's something far more useful – expanding the 140 character limit to double the original amount.

That's right, you can now use up to 280 characters for each tweet, meaning more complex thoughts can be expressed in a single tweet, rather than the awkwardness of using threads or even linking to a longer post on Facebook or a blog. The thing is, this has only been rolled out for selected users so far, as a test to see how it works. You may be lucky and have the option the minute you log in, but if not – there's a way you can get around this issue.

There are some ways of doing it for those more in the know with these things, as you can see in the instruction above, but there is a much more streamlined way of doing it. Thanks to the folks at The Next Web, we have a new way of accessing this feature, as long as you're a user of Google Chrome.

First of all, log in, then load up Tweetdeck at

Next, you need to head to view, hover over the Developer menu, then select 'Developer Tools'. You can find the 'Sources' tab here, after which you can click the arrow below to access Snippets.

After you open Snippets, click the 'New Snippet' button, and copy the code you'll find at this link. Once you have the code copied, you need to paste it in the empty window on the right hand side.

Finally, all you have to do is to click the 'Play' button below, and it will run the snippet. After this, you should be able to access the feature, making use of all 280 characters rather than the measly 140 like before.

The only downside to this is that you will have to use Tweetdeck to post your tweets – but it's a useful site once you get used to it. Plus, this can tide you over until the feature is made available to everyone in the future. Now, at least you can join with the people out there who are making use of the new feature, presumably wondering what the hell they are going to do with all the extra space.

On the other side of things, many people aren't a fan of this new feature, finding it pointless – or worse, a precursor to the end of Twitter as we know it. Plus, it's always fun to mock these kinds of things.

Apparently Twitter's 140 character cap was only there in the first place because of the original 160 character limit for SMS messages. We all got pretty used to it, but now they are choosing to expand it, which undoubtedly will change the platform for good.