Twitter, has announced its trialling longer character limits to help users ‘easily express themselves’.
It’s an interesting move by Twitter, as the 140-character limit is what makes the platform unique and sets it apart in the social media world. At the moment, tweets are currently 140-characters, with the trial doubling it to 280 characters for a small group of users.
The reason for the change
Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen wrote, “Trying to cram your thoughts into a tweet – we’ve all been there, and it’s a pain.” However, this isn’t a problem for everyone.
People tweeting in Japanese, Chinese and Korean can convey double the amount of information on one character leaving room to spare, whereas people tweeting in English, Spanish or French quickly run into the maximum limit.
Going from too short to too long?
One of Twitter’s greatest strengths as a marketing tool is that there is a high chance of people who begin reading a tweet will finish it. In a fast-paced digital world, attention spans are much likelier to wander over longer posts – with the average person looking at a tweet for only 2.92 seconds.
Brands could find engaging with users more difficult as well as reading and writing posts would take far longer.
What this means for marketers
Marketers should be focusing on captivating content and grabbing the attention of the audience through content and images rather than worrying about the longer character limit.
According to research, the ideal length for maximum Twitter engagement is actually between 71-100 characters achieving 17% higher engagement rates than longer tweets. Plus, it is a well-known fact that people engage more with visual content and with tweets that include images or videos are likely to received 150% more retweets than ones without.
In my opinion
I’m happy with the 140-character limit, if you cannot put your point across, then you are saying too much and filling it with information you do not need. I think it makes people think more, write more clearly, proof their posts and get straight to the point.