Saturday 20 January 2018

How did Donald Trump make use of 280-character tweets for the first time?

It was nothing to do with North Korea or fake news.

Trump Japan
Trump Japan

By Alistair Mason

When Twitter doubled its character limit for a select group of users in September, there were some raised eyebrows at the fact that Donald Trump didn’t appear to be among them.

But now the site has rolled 280-character tweets out across the board, the US president, possibly the world’s most prominent Twitter user, finally has the opportunity to be more expansive with his missives.

So how did he use this new facility? Here is his first ever 280-character (well, 215-character to be precise) tweet:

Trump has long been noted for his inflammatory output on Twitter, touching on subjects including North Korea, the “fake news” media and myriad rows with celebrities.

But anyone hoping for something outrageous or controversial from his first long tweet – or even a reference to the new character count – will have been disappointed.

The tweet was a relatively bland update on the itinerary of his ongoing tour of Asia.

Interestingly, the expanded character count does not apply for those writing in Japanese, Chinese or Korean – languages which already allow more to be said in fewer characters – so Trump’s hosts will not get the benefit of the new feature.

The president followed up with a second longer tweet, referencing Republican Ed Gillespie’s defeat in the Virginia gubernatorial election.

Trump had previously urged Republicans to vote for Gillespie, who surprised some analysts with the degree to which he took on the president’s conservative agenda.

If nothing else, the new character limit has allowed Trump to offer his own more detailed counter-analysis.

But the world will continue to await Trump’s first 280-character tweet about “Little Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un with interest.

Press Association

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