How Will Twitter's 280-Character Limit Effect Your Tweets?
When Twitter rolled out its expanded 280-character limit, the user response was highly polarized. Some were thrilled at the opportunity to express their thoughts more clearly in a single tweet, while others lamented the death of Twitter's original appeal – forcing users to creatively fit their message into 140 characters.
Whether you love or hate longer tweets, the increased space has opened opportunities for marketers. What does this mean for the way brands use the platform? Twelve Forbes Agency Council members share their thoughts.
1. Twitter Will Evolve Into A Branded Content Medium
Twitter's move to 280 characters will lead to more verbose tweets that, ultimately, may lose their impact. In the past, many spent far too long honing their message to fit within the requisite 140 characters. The previous limits created focused thoughts that were straight to the point. Moving forward, Twitter will evolve into a branded content medium for leveraging business and promoting brands. -Matt Anthes, SociallyMined
2. Marketers Can Use Branded URLs Over Shortened Ones
Increasing character limits could allow for branded URLs over non-branded shortened URLs. This gives followers one more opportunity to see the hub of a brand's online presence with every tweet. A recent study by Rebrandly showed that branded URLs get 39% more engagement than non-branded ones. -Aaron Henry, FOUNDRY512
3. Companies Will Get Lazy With Their Messaging
Twitter and its 140 characters was exciting. It challenged marketers to truly craft what they wanted to get across. Allowing 280 characters allows companies to be lazy in their messaging and marketing. Now marketers can fill up a text box, clogging up users' Twitter feeds and coming off as invasive. It is now a fine line to walk. -Aidan Cole, nTuitive.social
4. Global Marketers Can Post In Multiple Languages At Once
With the expanded character limit, marketers working with global brands now have the ability to post their message in multiple languages in the same tweet. Often times, brands are forced to tweet the same message multiple times in a variety of different languages, which is not only irritating, but can also cause confusion. -Danny Fritz, SportBox Entertainment Group
5. It Will Allow For Greater Transparency
The 280-character limit will help brands with strict disclosure rules, and it will lend some much-needed space for sponsorship notices in influencer tweets, which are becoming more popular than ever before. It will also help companies that use Twitter for customer service and need room to communicate clearly to solve issues with consumers. The new limit is a smart move. -Kelly Ann Collins, Collins & Company
6. Consumers Will Scroll Past Tweets Deemed 'Too Long'
We’ve seen the definition of long-form video shift from 2+ minutes to 30 seconds to 10 seconds. For the social media text equivalent – character count on Twitter – brevity is still your best bet. Using more characters than necessary will lead to your target tuning out your message. -Kieley Taylor, GroupM
7. Marketers Can Write Complete Sentences
The new Twitter character count affords the opportunity to include more actionable copy. We participate in chats and were limited to merely answering the questions or resorting to short-form abbreviations. With the freedom of 280 characters, we can add links, generating more website traffic, include additional product information, and (finally!) write complete sentences. -Alannah Tsimis Sandehl, IDM Brand
8. Brands May Increase Their Twitter Ad Spend
Twitter's 280 characters open up the platform to a wider audience that couldn’t wrap their heads around the short, witty and sometimes cryptic messages found on Twitter. If this change ignites user growth, and Twitter develops their ad products to support it, we’ll see brands moving more dollars there as Facebook and Google become less affordable. -Benjamin Collins, Laughing Samurai
9. Marketers Can Experiment With Creative Tweet Structures
Twitter has been and will continue to be a platform that requires writers to be concise. Social media managers might want to consider using more targeted hashtags as a start but also use the added character allowance as a larger canvas for creative post structure such as poems or word art. These structures could grab more attention than the typical infographic or link out. -Jeff Grover, BestCompany.com
10. Twitter Is Still About Serving Timely, Relevant Content
The increased character limit does not always mean marketers should write more. The key to success is relevant, insightful and timely content served up in a succinct, creative manner. A terrific example of this is this tweet from Cookie Monster. - Rema Vasan, MSL
11. Marketers Can Take Up More Space Without Adding More Words
Even with this shift to 280 characters, marketers need to figure out how not to say too much. Users were not ready for this dramatic of an increase. Stick to the point. We’ve utilized the new character count by tweeting with multiple lines; we're taking up more space in the feed, but not adding more words. -Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
12. There Will Be A Minimal Impact
According to a test group conducted by Twitter, only 5% of its participants even went over the 140 character limit after it was expanded to 280 characters. I don't think it will impact how brands use Twitter, as people will still rely on hashtag campaigns and clever, one-sentence messages to communicate their message. -Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com