On Nov. 7, Twitter announced it doubled users’ 140-character limit to 280 characters, a move many in the marketing communications profession anticipated following Twitter’s initial testing of the expanded tweet in September.
Twitter’s goal, it’s Product Manager Aliza Rosen wrote in a blog, was to make it, “so every person around the world could express themselves easily in a Tweet. Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter.”
Rosen went on to write, “During the first few days of the test many people Tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after behavior normalized (more on this below). We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they Tweeted more easily and more often.”
With my marketing and communications hat on, I have reasons to support this move by Twitter. If people really are turning to the platform more often, this only gives PR and marketing professionals, as well as journalists, sales people, executives and so on, a larger audience to reach. Twitter also stated, “people who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter.” All good news for brand development and promotion!
What I’ve always loved about Twitter is the challenge users face in crafting their message in only 140 characters. Users really had to be creative at times!
Twitter also said its move to a 280-character limit will reduce the English language limit being met from 9 percent to 1 percent. Again, this is great for engagement and overall use, but 9 percent still seems like a very small figure given the platform has more than 330 million users and counting.
What feature would I like to see added? EDITING. Why can’t we edit a tweet after it’s live? Mistakes happen, so give us the chance to make a correction without deleting the content; tweeting why we deleted the content; and then tweeting again.
To conclude, the 280-character limit takes some of the fun away from tweeting, in my opinion. Let’s get back to being creative with our tweets.
What do you think about the character expansion?