Just as you were starting to think in 140 characters, Twitter goes and ruins things by doubling its character count!
The social media giant with 328 million users, recently announced that it would be trialling longer characters to allow users to “easily express themselves”. The Twitter word count will go up from 140 to 280 characters if successful.
The 280 Club
As part of this move, a group of randomly chosen social media influencers were selected to take part in the trial. Whether intended or not, it was a smart move to create a buzz and lots of publicity.
Among some of the chosen few were Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who launched with this entertaining tweet, and of course Twitter’s own Jack Dorsey, with his enviable handle @jack.
Good for Business
When Twitter decide to roll out this new feature globally, what does this mean for business’ that use the platform for customer engagement and marketing purposes?
- More to say
Twitter believe that it offers the opportunity to express yourself more. For marketers, this is no bad thing, since it allows more space to convey a message, and we all know how tricky it is to cram it into 140 characters.
- More users
With greater opportunity to express your brand personality, it may attract more users, or greater sharing of your content.
- More hashtags
The right use of hashtags can attract a larger audience. Since more space is available, if used appropriately, this could create opportunity to better reach a wider audience than before.
But, there’s always a downside…
- Less click through?
It could go either way, but 140 characters was just enough to ‘tease’ a message which often encouraged you to click through to a link. With the word count expanded, this may give you less reason to do so.
Let’s be honest, the beauty of Twitter is all about the bitesize information you can flick through. No-one wants boring long tweets or to spend hours doing a Twitter search to find interesting stuff. It could backfire and turn-off users altogether.
- More space, more problems?
For all the upsides it brings, the extra resource that comes with curating greater content is an additional expense to your business.
The trial has divided users, some welcoming the extra freedom it brings, but many purists resist the change, which they fear will damage the platform’s appeal.
If that hasn’t put you off and you want to impress your fanbase as one of the ‘chosen few’(!) then some Twitter hack has found a way to tweet out 280 characters, with a bit of technical prowess, as shown here!
The trial continues, with no set date for rollout if it is implemented wider.
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