For years we've been hearing whispers that Twitter might, maybe, let go of its longstanding 140-character limit. It may have been an arbitrary thing when the company got its start just over a decade ago, but it's become something of a signature, forcing the long-winded and abbreviation-inclined both to practice brevity. But now a product manager at Twitter reveals in a blog post that they're rolling out a test run of a 280-character limit for languages like English where 140 characters may be cramping our style — justifying this by showing how character-based languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese can actually say a lot more in 140 characters than we can, often with "room to spare."

"We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter," says Twitter's Aliza Rosen. But, she explains, they're not yet ready for a full roll-out. "Although we feel confident about our data and the positive impact this change will have, we want to try it out with a small group of people before we make a decision to launch to everyone."

Rosen cites data that shows the average tweet in Japanese is 15 characters while in English it's typically 34 characters, more than twice that. Also, only a tiny fraction (0.04%) of Japanese tweets hit the 140-character limit, while nearly 10 percent of English tweets are getting "crammed."

This test, which is already roiling the Twitterati and spurring all kinds of jokes about brevity — even Twitter itself had to issue a statement split across six tweets last night, regarding Trump and why they're not banning him yet — comes after several rumors and tweaks by Twitter to update its signature limiting feature. A rumor went around early last year that they were testing a "see more" type feature that would have a 10,000 character limit. Then in May of last year they updated the character count to exclude links and photos, allowing for slightly more wiggle room, word-wise.

CEO Jack Dorsey's statement, in 280 characters:

Late last year, Dorsey suggested that updates to Twitter's service could be coming this year, though at the time the top priority seemed to be some kind of edit capability — perhaps a time-limited one, or one that indicates an edit as on Facebook. Looks like the character-limit thing is pushed to the head of the line.

It's unclear who the lucky few are, besides Dorsey, who are getting to expand their Twitter repertoire to 280-character quips, but there are some of them out there, and Rosen says the company wants to be "transparent about why we are excited to try this."

Below, a selection of reactions:

Previously: Twitter Will Exclude Links And Photos From 140-Character Limit