How Twitter’s New 280 Character Tweet Length Will Impact Influencers
By now many of you will have heard about Twitter’s test to extend the text limit of a tweet to 280 characters. (That is double the length of the original 140 character limit set by Twitter since its early days.)
The goal, according to Twitter’s statement, is to eliminate the constraints felt by speakers of certain languages. In languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as you can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.
Currently only a test group of users has access to the new character limit, but if it goes well, we can all expect to experience this new update.
This is what a 240 character limit tweet looks like:
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
In the meantime, what are the benefits to influencers (and brands) if Twitter does make the 280 character limit a permanent feature?
Influencer Benefits From Longer Tweet Length
Greater Detail = Greater Quality
The restriction of 140 characters can sometimes hinder the creativity of influencers whose greatest asset is their unique voice & style. When having to cut down words for length, tone can sometimes be lost, which can impact the results of that post.
With more characters to play with, influencers can express themselves as they would in a Facebook post.
Double the Conversation
Rather than tweeting multiple times when responding to questions, and comments, influencers will have the opportunity to respond in greater depth, whilst still retaining brevity. This could also increase the likelihood of responses being retweeted because the answer is retained in one tweet rather than multiple.
Hashtags Won’t Hinder Content
One of the biggest problems with the 140 character tweet length is that the inclusion of campaign hashtags limits the space for content even further.
As new campaigns are released, the need for unique (sometimes longer) hashtags is necessary, which means we’re inevitably hindering influencers ability to express themselves more over time.
With double the space, influencers can publish a compelling tweet, complete with a link, hashtags and content.
Is this Change Likely?
This isn’t the first time Twitter has played with changing the tweet length. Last year, they tested extending the 140 character limit to 10,000 characters until a backlash from critics prompted Twitter to change their mind. For fun, here’s what that would have looked like:
— jack (@jack) January 5, 2016
Twitter also tried increasing its character count by allowing people to post photos and GIFs without counting them in the character limit. One of the more permanent changes they made, however, was not including links in tweet count, which is a change users embraced happily.
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