Double the characters: Does Twitters new character count underestimate the simplicity of microblogging?

Twitter reveals new plans for a 280 character limit to replace its traditional 140.

What’s so hard about obeying the main rule of Twitter? It’s arguably what made it stand out so wonderfully from its competitors in the first place.

Most argue it move could help Twitter in the domination of social media, but it’s no better time to look at what Twitter has become, as well as the people who use it.

Back in May 2016, Twitter revealed adjustments they would be making to make keeping within its character count easier for users, which included specifics on what would be constituted within the count. Changes made included ‘simplifying the way that replies and attachments work’ ( meaning that the @name of respondents wouldn’t count towards the 140 on reply tweets. This did show a certain level of dedication from the micro-blogging site to stay loyal to its classic word count, but clearly wasn’t quite enough.

tweet 1

Figure 1. The demand for over 140 characters has always been prevalent.

Many tweets are successful due to their ambiguity, it allows them to remain open for variation and discussion. However, the broad use of microblogging on such a large platform does have its flaws. Like a short sentence, a single tweet is open to countless misconceptions, and now more than ever people use Twitter to voice their personal perspectives rather than just information. Sometimes these views are about topics of significance where 140 characters simply isn’t enough.

It’s not imperative that you use the full count. In fact, in 2015 research by Buddy Media revealed that tweets shorter than 100 characters ‘get a 17% higher engagement rate’, suggesting that successful tweeters may not even need any extra character room.

tweet 2

Figure 2 Users share their thoughts on the prospect of #280characters.

The extended count shouldn’t be a dramatic change. Consider it a safety net should you need it. Like all change, it’s an opportunity for individuals and businesses. The beauty of Twitter (and all other successful social media outlets) is that it’s always making changes, and it’s up to its users to generate fantastic things from it.

For those who want to know more, Twitter posted on their blog explaining their reasoning for the idea. Check it out:

One Reply to “Double the characters: Does Twitters new character count underestimate the simplicity of microblogging?”

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