Twitter recently announced one of the biggest shakeups to its social media offering since the platform began more than 10 years ago, namely that you’ll soon be able to write longer tweets.
Though Twitter have yet to give a firm date for the change to be rolled out, it’s more than likely that the change will have happened by the end of 2016 at the latest.
Many of Twitter’s users will likely want to take advantage of the new 140-character limit, but should they?
Why the change?
Twitter has been around for over 10 years now and in that time the platform has amassed a staggering 310 million active users.
It has been used for serious things, such as the organisation of political uprisings and to announce and mourn the death of popular figures, to the not so serious, such as the sharing of funny pet videos or pictures of plates of food.
Despite the concern over the long term potential of Twitter, marketers are still utilising the platform for both business-to-business and business-to-customer marketing and while Facebook may be the recognised leader for B2B sales, this doesn’t mean that we should forget about the potential value of tweets.
So, what is Twitter changing exactly? Twitter is basically increasing the number of characters available for users to write words in tweets by removing links, images, videos, GIFs and user names from their current 140-character limit.
This means that, whereas in the past we might have only been able to use less than 100 characters in a tweet when including a picture and a link, users will now be able to use the full 140 characters instead, as the image and the link will no longer be included in the character limit.
If you haven’t used twitter all that much, this simply means that users will be able to add a few more words to their tweets than they could have in the past.
For the average user, this increase in character limit should be a great change as users will no longer have to think so hard about how to get across what they want to say with so few words to play with, especially when they are including pictures, links and other usernames in their tweets.
This could mean that Twitter becomes much more user friendly and could even bring about a new spurt in user growth and activity.
For Marketers, less is Still More
What if you are a social media specialist, though? Should you adapt your own tweets to make full use of the new character limit, writing longer sentences and increasing the amount of hashtags used?
Personally, I wouldn’t. In my experience, I’ve found that just a few words are more than enough to get your message across. Sure, you may now have more characters available to you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should use them.
I still believe that in a fast paced world where information is being thrown at businesses and consumers from every angle, shorter still has to be better.
While some companies and organisations may fall into the trap of wanting to give the user as much information as they can, utilising every character now available to them, I personally will be focusing on the most important part of social: community engagement.
Tom Basgil is part of the team at Hotwire PR, an integrated PR and communications agency.
The article was originally published on Hotwire PR’s blog and to read more, visit here.
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