Twitter, which famously forced brevity on the social media world, is abandoning its signature feature. Introduced in September, the new Twitter character limit gives every user double the space to sound off.
The drastic change was met with opposing choruses of cheers and boos from marketing professionals. Some called it an opportunity, while others felt more would actually be less. From ad copy space to messaging flexibility, Fat Guy weighs the pros and cons of Twitter’s latest strategic maneuver.
The Twitter Character Limit Increases to 280
It’s a challenge every marketer has encountered: how to cram a whole idea into 140 characters. Until recently, you might have been forced to edit and rewrite your message several times in order to fit the character limit.
Thankfully, Twitter felt your pain.
“We are making this change after listening and observing a problem our global community was having (it wasn’t easy enough to Tweet!), studying data to understand how we could improve, trying it out, and listening to your feedback. We’ll continue listening and working to make Twitter easier for everyone while making sure we keep what you love,” Twitter Product Manager Aliza Rosen wrote on the company’s blog.
The Pros for Business Promotion
1) You have more Space for Ad Copy
The new Twitter character limit also changes the allowable size of ad copy. Now, your business can promote its latest news, product offering or sale in twice the space.
2) More Twitter users = a Larger Audience
Twitter changed its format to 280 characters as part of a plan to attract more users. If successful, the larger number of active Twitter accounts could increase your audience and potentially help you add customers as well.
3) It adds Flexibility to your Messaging
The old character limit offered a tight messaging window. With more available space to write tweets, you have greater flexibility to let your creativity run wild.
The Cons for Marketers
1) More Resources are Required to Produce Tweets
2) Brevity is Best in Marketing
Just because Twitter raised its available character limit, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Social media marketers’ new challenge is not to lose their audience’s attention with longer tweets.
3) More Characters may Crowd your Audience’s Feeds
The new character limit may decrease the number of tweets seen in a timeline, possibly preventing some businesses’ messages from ever being heard. In response, Twitter stated that although 280 characters is a popular novelty now, only about five percent of tweets are exceeding 140.
Although many people have strong opinions about the character limit rule, Twitter maintains the social media platform didn’t change its core focus. “Twitter is about brevity. It’s what makes it such a great way to see what’s happening,” wrote Twitter’s Rosen. “Tweets get right to the point with the information or thoughts that matter. That is something we will never change.”