Twitter announced more characters to express yourself, and the world is divided in half.
Just when we figured out and settled with the old limit of 140 characters, Twitter doubled its character limit to 280.
You can now breathe a sigh of relief because you no longer have to keep checking your character limit even for the most basic thoughts. However, this move might as well change the nature of the network as more people would find Twitter an easy platform to communicate unlike now where only 24% of all male 21% of all female internet users use Twitter.
A simple glance through the comments section of The Verge’s announcement of the news convinced me that the “sigh of relief” was not the original reaction of all Twitter users, and they have their reasons.
A look at the tweets just rubber-stamped it:
This is a small change, but a big move for us. 140 was an arbitrary choice based on the 160 character SMS limit. Proud of how thoughtful the team has been in solving a real problem people have when trying to tweet. And at the same time maintaining our brevity, speed, and essence! https://t.co/TuHj51MsTu
— jack (@jack) September 26, 2017
to which Caitlin replied with:
139 characters pic.twitter.com/WkfdXL8oLh
— Caitlin Kelly (@caitlin__kelly) September 26, 2017
Let’s not judge yet and dig through some pros and cons of the new character limit:
Because hey, we all love to express more, humans and businesses alike! Why is it “a move Twitter should have made eons ago”- via TheNextWeb? Let’s see some of the advantages of this move.
Freedom of expression:
You will no longer hit the 140-character wall every time you are trying to articulate your intense thoughts. Trying to speak on heated or heartfelt topics will also get easier.
The irksome 1/, 2/ tweet series might as well end and elongated tweetstorms will not be required. With more characters, tweeps can keep their timeline more organized and no one would need to refer to multiple tweets in discussions.
No more deaths of language aesthetics:
In a fit to fit as much thought as possible in a tweet, users and even brands had resorted to using ‘2’ for ‘to’ and ‘achvd’ for ‘achieved,’ and don’t even talk about the use of prepositions. There had never been harder times for Grammar Nazis. Bad days have ended. The proper usage of language shall prevail. All hail logophiles!
Given to the limit, most people avoided jumping into a conversation just to avoid writing things that don’t fully convey their points. With a higher limit, there would be more meaningful and active conversations.
As a business, you will benefit from more people from your target audience taking to Twitter. The original limit was a cause of apprehension among a lot of people who couldn’t understand the point of a social media platform that did not allow you to express your thoughts freely. Making your business profile stronger on Twitter makes all the more sense now.
A Vox contributor remarked that “Twitter just got twice as bad.” That’s a tough statement to make, but there are definitely some disadvantages of doubling the character limit.
Loss of Wit
Most English majors like me would agree to the Shakespearean quote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
Loss of brevity might as well result to the loss of wit in tweets. But, not all Twitter users are English majors, not all appreciate the limitation of words, and not everyone is trying to be witty. Doubling the limit will lead to longer beating-around-the-bush tweets.
Digression from the original feature
The increase in the limit is also seen as a digression from the original USP that Twitter upholds. The 140-character posts were a differentiator for Twitter. With longer tweets, this differentiation might just disappear.
Less mobile friendly
Concise tweets made it easier for mobile audience to surf through tweets quickly and stay updated on the current happenings across the world. Longer posts would be more time consuming and less mobile friendly.
Bad news for links
Though just an anticipation, this is totally possible. With longer tweets and the ‘read more’ button, users will be lost in reading the tweets and directing lesser traffic to links. This will affect businesses and that’s not happy news. However, you may discover some hacks to tweet with the new 280 character limit to make the most of it.
While this change might not be as warmly accepted by Twitter users as expected, the wise ones will find a way to emerge through the challenges and put this new feature to good use. Whatever the case be, Twitter would still be the Trump card for your Social Media Marketing in 2017.
Got an advantage or a disadvantage in your mind? Share with us in the comments below.