In the world of Social Media, things are constantly evolving.
I am currently writing this, knowing I have already written this week’s piece of content for Think Digital First, but the digital world is unpredictable, and to speak on real-time news and keep my audience as up-to-date as possible, this is something that happens from time-to-time.
You may know that Twitter is my most engaging (and favourite) social network to engage with my audience on, so it is the social network that I pay the closest attention to.
Less than 24 hours ago, news reports shared that Twitter are doing something I never thought they would do; double their character limit. Around 9% of all tweets are exactly 140 characters, meaning that users have to edit their initial content, to fit the character limit.
To avoid this problem, Twitter have listened to their users, and started testing 280-character tweets, allowing users to be more expressive.
Twitter said the following:
“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English. When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting — which is awesome!”
The ideology behind Twitter was based on a social network that mimics the length of a standard text message and is something that has been a real disadvantage for Twitter, especially when the likes of Instagram and Facebook; their biggest competitors, are giving users more characters to share content more freely.
This isn’t the first change in character limitations that we have seen from Twitter. They have, in the past, amend what counts toward your 140 characters, so for instance, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) will no longer “use up” valuable characters.
It has been something of a hot topic over the last year, and reports even suggest that they were considering a 10,000 character limit but were worried that this would compromise the real-time, short burst of information that has made Twitter what it is.
The new character limit will initially be made available to a small group of users for the time being, as the expansion is considered more of a test than a large, public rollout but it’s still very exciting.
We have all faced the frustration of having to shorten our tweet to make sure it fits within the character limit and whilst I agree that giving too much leeway will compromise what Twitter stands for, doubling the character limit will give businesses the chance to engage in more conversations, for a longer period of time.
What do you think about Twitter looking to expand their character limit?
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