280 characters on Twitter – will it be too much?

By: Richard Michie

Since January 2016, there has been constant speculation about the possibility of tweets extending in length to 280 characters.

Longer tweets have always been a controversial topic, with the 140 character limit seen by some as a restrictive factor which makes the tweet process more difficult, ultimately pulling people away from the platform. With total active users on Twitter now at an all-time decline, it could now be the time to try something new.

280 characters on Twitter – will it be too much?

You may think 280 characters on Twitter is way too long if you’re a late 2000s veteran tweeter, but soon you might have to start getting used to it. So why the change? Well, one of the main reasons could be due to the restrictions 140 characters brings.

Well If you think about it, you can frequently run into the 140 character limit which then results in editing them down to the point they no longer make sense. All those important meanings and emotions you are wishing to convey are no longer present making you question why you were writing it in the first place!

With that in mind, users have become less willing to tweet due to the frustration 140 characters can bring, even to the point of some individuals deleting their Twitter profile altogether.

Who knows, the new 280 character limit may be the only way forward to keep the platform alive but would this change really encourage people to keep using the platform?

Probably not, but maybe it’s time we start seeing some risks being taken from Twitter. After all, their users are declining at the speed of light!

Here’s an example from Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter:

280-characters on Twitter

But it’s got us all talking about it, hasn’t it? Maybe that was their plan all along, to spark a debate among the community so they can become significant again.

But the 140 character rule was Twitter’s USP back in the late 2000s when they were the king of social networks. Users fell in love with the platform so why destroy it for the sake of keeping up with the times?

Will it have the power to finally surpass the rest of the social media networks out there? Or will we be soon sending our final tweets which will probably include the hashtag #RIPTwitter, leaving the remaining 280 characters on Twitter to waste?

Twitter’s stock may have increased since the speculation but will that really affect the impact it’ll have on the platform?

So what’s my opinion?

Personally, I think tweets with over 280 characters on Twitter are going to look bulky and irritating in the news feed. It’s possible they’ll be improved over time to the point we end up loving the new layout. But it does seem that Twitter is really shooting themselves in the foot with this change, especially since they’ve been so proud of their 140 character limit for many years.

But maybe it’ll be nice to finally post one single long tweet rather splitting into several other posts, people just don’t have the patience for that anymore!

But remember, this is all speculation, nothing is set in stone until we see Twitter’s official announcement. Even though I’m concerned about the mass number of tweets I’ll see on my news feed daily, I’m hoping Twitter will find a way to be able to control the usage and implementation of this change.

Maybe it’s about time we see something new from Twitter, after all, the 140 character limit may help me further in getting the right message across through my client accounts. What are your thoughts on the potential change? Let us know!

Are you struggling with getting your brand message across on Twitter? Then call us on 07834 197785 or fill in the form below. We’ll be in touch shortly!

Interested in speaking to The Optimists?

Right from the beginning of our time working with The Marketing Optimist, they’ve taken the time and effort to get to understand Sharp Consultancy as a business and not just a client. We’ve seen a huge increase in the effectiveness of our social media strategy, particularly on Linkedin and we’re delighted with the impact it’s had on the business.

Jamie Caulfield

Regional Director, Sharp Consultancy

It was a pleasure to work with The Marketing Optimist on this project. It felt like a true collaborative effort on the day and they made the interviewee's feel at ease whilst talking about their journey on our RISE programme. The final video was professional and engaging, we have received great feedback around the quality and creativity of the case study. Including the video in our presentation made it come to life, with real humans sharing their stories, so thank you to the Marketing Optimist!

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Impact Manager, Better Connect Limited

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