What Will Happen To Twitter’s Brevity With Expanded Tweet Count?


photo: Craig Carpenter, RelayThat

It’s official. Twitter has expanded its character length from 140 to 280 characters.

They did a test launch back in September that received a lot of criticism because let’s face it, 140 characters is what made Twitter, Twitter. Many users argued that increasing the tweet size would make Twitter less readable as longer tweets filled up the feeds. And as I mentioned in a previous blog post, Twitter does not need to become another Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

Twitter Releases 280

Twitter decided to go ahead and roll out longer tweets on November 7. They did this everywhere except for those using Japanese, Korean and Chinese, because character length is not an issue for those languages.

Twitter says it’s easier to tweet when given more space. And that with more room to tweet, there’s room for higher engagement, more followers and more time spent on the platform. That remains to be seen.

My Take on the 280

I was granted access to Twitter’s new update right in the middle of the #SocialROI chat that I host every Tuesday at 5pm ET. I watched some participants post tweets that were definitely longer. I didn’t like it. It seems odd and out of place. Especially during a fast-paced chat. It’s hard enough to keep up, but now trying to wade through longer tweets would become nightmare. Luckily only a few people tried longer form tweets during that chat.

Later that evening, I experimented. I tried a few longer tweets. At first it seemed weird. But what was even weirder is that Twitter does not give you the number of character spaces at the onset. As a matter of fact, you don’t know how many characters you’ve tweeted until you come upon the last 20 out of 280 characters. I found myself easily typing up longer tweets. Was this a ploy to get us to write out longer thoughts? Hmm, I wondered. And what’s up with the circle in the bottom right corner?

Accepting the 280

So it didn’t take long. A few nights ago I was busy prepping and promoting the #TwitterSmarter chat that I host every Thursday at 1pm ET. I came up with a really great tweet. I got creative with the space. It’s more compelling and attention grabbing. Check this out.

What Will Happen To Brevity?

Twitter’s best asset is its brevity. Sharing concise information is what drew me to Twitter, as I’m sure most of you. But I can also see beyond the 140 and that this change is not so bad after all. There will be times where we need that extra character space, or two or ten. But I am worried about spammers being more spammy. And Twitter chats being difficult to wade through. Twitter says that the excitement should wear off soon and people will go back to the concise. It will be interesting to see what happens.

What Does This Mean For You?

More space which gives you room to be creative. You can now share an expanded thought on Twitter and go far beyond what you were used to with just 140 characters. Many are on the fence about this new move, as I was. But as I spent more time experimenting, I realized there will be times where some extra space will come in handy.

My Twitter Poll Says…

I posted a Twitter poll to get an idea as to what people in my community thought about this major change. In just 24 hours, I received 566 votes! The results are quite interesting.

27% love it
29% hate it
44% are on the fence

I sorted through 100 comments and found interesting commentary that covers every angle.

What My Community Says…

Getting Creative with 280

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