Download Slate’s 140 Chrome extension, which limits all tweets to 140 characters.

Can’t Handle 280-Character Twitter? Download Our Chrome Extension, 140.

Can’t Handle 280-Character Twitter? Download Our Chrome Extension, 140.

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Nov. 8 2017 1:38 AM

Can’t Handle 280-Character Twitter? Download Our Chrome Extension, 140.

Save Twitter!


While Slate’s Will Oremus is on the record as believing Twitter’s move to 280 characters for all users is great, it’s nonetheless been a shock Tuesday night to see huge tweet after huge tweet scrolling down my timeline. Users, of course, are stretching their wings in the new 280-character sky, and the result is a real mess.

Like Iggy, I’m just not ready yet! Maybe someday I’ll delight in Will’s logorrheic future, but right now I want my timeline to chill out a little. And what about when I tweet?! Now that my trusty character counter has been replaced by an inscrutable circle, how do I keep myself from accidentally exceeding 140 characters, the proper maximum length for tweets? Twitter, we have to go back!!


Thankfully, Slate’s developers are here to save the day. Install our new Chrome extension, 140, and keep the horrifying world of 280-character Twitter at bay for a bit longer. If you’re visiting in Chrome, 140 will cut everyone’s tweets down to 140 characters. And better yet, 140 will restrict your tweets to 140 characters, too.

Is it perfect? Definitely not. We whipped it up in one night. URLs don’t always look great, and pasting text into a tweet can screw up your character count. But the result is nonetheless a much chiller experience on twitter dot com.

Eventually (in an hour?) Twitter will find a way to circumvent our extension, we’re sure. The army of progress marches forever forward, burning everything good in the world and salting the earth behind it. But at least you can use Slates 140 to make Twitter great again ... for now.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Dan Kois edits and writes for Slate’s human interest and culture departments. He’s the co-author, with Isaac Butler, of The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America, and is writing a book called How to Be a Family.

Greg Lavallee is the director of technology at Slate.