This week Twitter announced that it’s expanding the character limit of a single tweet from 140 characters to 280, but just because there is more room to communicate it doesn’t mean that you should necessarily use it.
Some have argued that the expansion of the character limit contradicts Twitter’s very essence and intention – to allow people to communicate quickly and succinctly, to distil ideas down to their core and to speak to audiences with clarity and without waffle or confusion.
The new limit may well lead to longer, more verbose tweets but Twitter is confident that this won’t be the case. The company ran a trial of the 280-character format in September and found that only 5% of tweets sent in this time exceeded the new, expanded limit.
Add to this that many of those may have been people (including some not a million miles from here) trying out the new format in order to tell a joke, and you get the impression that users still appreciate the brevity of Twitter.
The ramifications of @Twitter‘s decision to expand the character parameters of the tweet are yet to be fully revealed. But I suspect it will result only in tweets that are bloviated, verbose and ultimately tautological instead of succinct, to-the-point and economical. Oh…
— Dan Gallienne (@DanGallienne) September 27, 2017
Many of our clients use social media to reach their audiences and tell their stories and will be excited by the opportunity to expand on their key messages. But our advice will remain the same: say what you need to as clearly and succinctly as possible.
We’ll be advising clients that while the expanded character limit could prove useful for correct grammar (hurrah for no more ‘2day’s) and adding an extra hashtag, it’s not a target to be aimed for and messages should remain short, sharp and to-the-point.
After all, we could write a press release that stretches to eight pages, but we just wouldn’t. Good communication should be as succinct as possible and therefore we should stick to the true principles of Twitter.