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Does Twitter Really Need More Characters?

No, not that kind of character. (Although I find @VeryLonelyLuke’s updates to be pretty funny. Spoiler alert: don’t follow him unless you’ve seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens.)

Social media news is all abuzz that Twitter will be changing its Tweet limit from 140 characters – up to 10,000! That’s quite a difference.

Why would they do it? Obviously this means more content-per-tweet possibilities. But my question is, does this remove too much of Twitter’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? In the social sphere, short bursts of info have been a differentiator for the blue bird. Instagram’s all pictures and hashtags, Facebook is the central repository where lives are trumpeted, and Twitter lets you drop in for a quick minute to see what’s going on – tweet a little – and be gone. Or stick around and have tons of frenetic conversations. Either way, they’re all 140-characters (max) at a time.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed the fact that people have to cull their thoughts down to the short format in order to get them across. This is especially true for brands, where tweets serve almost as ad headlines – and embedded links enable further discovery of the additional content or “body copy,” if you will. Retweets and quick additional commentaries from followers enrich the messaging of those brand tweets. But do I really want to retweet a 10,000-character tweet from a brand? That’s encroaching on Facebook territory, methinks.

There’s more. The last thing I want is for my Twitter feed to now only show a couple tweets because they’re so long. Currently, I enjoy scrolling quickly through and picking out the ones that interest me. Again, it’s part of Twitter’s unique appeal.

The short (or long) of it is: Twitter is changing, as all things must do to survive. The question is will it help or hurt the brand experience – and only time (and tweeters) will tell.

~ Denise Blasevick, @AdvertGirl & CEO, The S3 Agency


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