Chapter published in:Corpus Approaches to Social Media
Edited by Sofia Rüdiger and Daria Dayter
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 98] 2020
► pp. 131–146
Are 280-character tweets comparable to 140-character tweets?
Linguistic data from social media is often discussed in the light of constraints, be it due to character limits or the putatively short attention span of users. In November 2017, Twitter eased one such constraint, increasing the maximum length of tweets from 140 to 280 characters. The present longitudinal study shows that this change has had an effect on the linguistic surface structure of tweets, especially in regard to optional syntactical and metatextual features. I discuss the origin and nature of these changes and their relation to hard constraints of social media platforms in addition to highlighting the impact on methodological aspects of future longitudinal studies of Twitter data which may cover periods both before and after the switch.
Keywords: Twitter, social media, character limit, constraint, variation
Published online: 04 November 2020
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