Twitter rose to social media fame by being the first platform that allowed people to quickly put out short messages to their followers. How short exactly? The golden 140 characters. However, Twitter has been falling behind their competitors. This has forced the former social media juggernaut to evaluate how they want tweets to look.
Which leads us to now. Twitter is finally (sort of) doing it. They’re exploring the possibility of expanding the 140 character count currently in place for tweets. They’ve already nixed the character limit within message and now they’re considering making this the norm for tweets.
Need a visual on what 140 characters looks like? This tweet from Search Engine Land is 135 characters:
Google quietly announced in the Google Business forums a new design update for the Google My Business portal: https://t.co/X0TtNR07th— Search Engine Land (@sengineland) October 1, 2015
But this poses the question: what is the right amount of characters? This puts Twitter in a sticky situation. Either this new character limit will be a roaring success and users will love it or it puts Twitter in a social media death spiral. If the limit is totally removed, this could lead to an unpleasant user experience because feeds could take longer to scroll through and require followers to click for extended tweets. Simply put, this could take away from the easiness that Twitter is known for. According to blog Re/Code, Twitter would tweak the 140 character count limit by by removing links and twitter handles from the character count.
In a way, Twitter is playing catch up with all of its competitors. Many platforms are now encouraging their users to post their content in full in lieu of sharing links. Why? This will keep users on their platform for longer amounts of time. This is a win for both the brands and the social networks because it’s a way for brands to reach people they may not normally reach and it’s clear that this is the way media is headed.
Get the Edge on Twitter
For a digital marketer, Twitter has already introduced several new ways to stand out. These include “Buy Now” buttons and auto-play video ads. However, the long-form layout allows marketers to share content when it’s relevant and potentially steal the audience away from the platform. If done the right way, digital marketers may be able to successfully embrace the new Twitter character count. However, it’s hard to tell if the everyday user will want to embrace more characters.
What do you think?