Simple hack lets users tweet in 280 characters ahead of official feature rollout. Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images

Twitter revealed this week it would be expanding its tweet character length to 280 — double that of the current cap on characters. While the feature is “only available to a small group right now,” per a blog on Twitter, some users began sharing ways to skirt the limitation with a userscript.

“Hello world, this is a large Tweet,” wrote The Verge’s Tom Warren on Wednesday‏. “This tweet has 280 characters instead of the regular and boring 140, and it's going to change everything. One more thing: you can do this yourself with a userscript in Chrome, it's really simple to do :)”

In a post on The Verge, Warren outlined how to get around the 140-character tweet cap — which was pointed to by Twitter user Prof9 — using userscript manager Tampermonkey. The workaround requires just three steps.

  • Install Tampermonkey
  • Head to Prof9’s GitHub repository and either copy and paste the code into a new script in Tampermonkey by navigating from the extension icon, or select “Raw” on the code in GitHub and tell Tampermonkey to “Install” the script from the new window
  • Navigate to Twitter with the script running and tweet

Prof9 noted that the workaround “stops working when you switch pages,” but that users need only “refresh to fix.”

In the aforementioned Twitter blog post co-bylined by a product manager and a senior software engineer, the company said it wanted “every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter” and pointed to the difference in languages affected by cramming — which is all of them except Japanese, Chinese and Korean — as reason for the character expansion.

“[I]n languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French,” the blog noted.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted out an announcement about the new character count Tuesday evening.

“This is a small change, but a big move for us,” Dorsey wrote. “140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence!”