Twitter​ ​Doubles​ ​it’s​ ​Character​ ​Limit:​ ​What​ ​This​ ​Means​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Future of​ ​Content

A​ ​Shift​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Twitter-Sphere

Twitter’s 280 character rollout arguably marks the biggest change the social media platform has made since it’s inception back in 2006 and reactions have been mixed. Up until November 7th 2017, Twitter limited your rambles, insights, and general ‘shouts into the void’ to 140 characters and mastering the art of brevity was a skill we all had to acquire. Learning how to condense our thoughts in a creative way marked a huge shift in the way we shared and consumed content.

Writing in 140 characters forced us to rethink the way we distributed short-form content to a world that just didn’t have the time to read anything longer. Nevertheless, a longer character limit is something that content creators have been debating for quite a while with some feeling that 140 characters just wasn’t enough to connect with audiences or give life to a branded message. Now that Twitter has finally unleashed their new limit onto the world, proponents and opponents alike have taken to the platform to share their opinions.

Some users are praising the new character limit because it allows for more flexibility and creativity, others are taking full advantage of the change by writing hilarious tweets and satirical quips that poke fun at the new limit, but others, like author J.K. Rowling, believe that the change goes against the original appeal of the site and that it stunts creativity. Writers like Neil Gaiman, Lin Manuel Miranda and Stephen King have rallied behind her in dismissing the new change.

They do make a fair point but the reason behind this change was not solely to explore new creative possibilities but to make the Twitter world a little fairer for everyone. Japanese, Korean, and Chinese speakers had a much easier time with the 140 character limit because they could convey more information in a single character than speakers of European originated languages. Twitter project manager Aliza Rosen announced in a blog post that, “Japanese, Korean, and Chinese will continue to have 140 characters because cramming is not an issue in these languages.

In fact, these languages have always been able to say more with their Tweets because of the density of their writing systems.” As everyone settles into this new change, questions about how to best utilize the new characters will need to be talked about, especially amongst content marketers.

What​ ​Does​ ​This​ ​Mean​ ​for​ ​Content​ ​Marketing?

Promoting a brand image or creating a life-changing campaign in 140 characters was stressful at times but we, as content marketers, found ways to work around it. Now that we have 280 characters to play around with, we have to ask ourselves, where do we go from here? The days of snipping words and condensing phrases are over and it’s a blessing to be able to send a message or promote a link, article, or product without having to mince words.

However, as the old saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility and must learn how to use this gift wisely. Moving forward, it’s important for content creators to slow down and reassess their social media marketing strategies. Brevity is still best and cramming timelines with lengthy marketing posts is a surefire way to annoy the hell out of your followers and turn potential customers away.

It’s vital that content marketers are still able to reel in audiences in as few characters as possible or make complete use of the extra characters. This means filling up all the extra space with relevant content and NOT with hashtags (one or two hashtags still generates more engagement than ten or twenty). Content marketers can also benefit from the extra characters to connect with their audiences or customers on a deeper level, they can answer customer inquiries in more detail without having to redirect them somewhere else.

Final​ ​thoughts

It’s still too early to tell what the long term impact of this change will be for content marketers and their digital strategies but this new limit still marks a pivotal change in how we share content through social media. Whether you’re for the new limit or against it, content marketing is all about adaptation and evolution and in order to stay ahead of the curve we have to re-think our game-plans and learn how to make the most of our 280 characters.