Twitter-space

Tweet with character. But not all 280 characters

In Social & Digital Media, Uncategorized by Natalie Kozma

This month, Twitter said farewell to its flagship feature: 140-character Tweets.

That’s right. Like a sympathetic bartender, the social media platform listened to customers’ problems (it wasn’t easy enough to Tweet) and said “I’ll make it a double.” Now, users have 280 characters to express themselves, on the house.

This change comes after Twitter discovered 9 percent of Tweets in English hit the character limit – a UX challenge that could help explain why Twitter has 330 million active users, dwarfed by more than 2 billion users on Facebook.

With 280 characters available, Twitter found that 1 percent of Tweets hit the limit.

So, problem solved? I took to the internet for insight.

How has the internet responded?

Mixed feelings. These two aren’t fans. Based on Retweets and Likes, neither are their fans.

These strong opinions echo fears from some users that Twitter timelines will be cluttered with obnoxious, long novels. Here’s the platform’s response:

“We – and many of you – were concerned that timelines may fill up with 280 character Tweets, and people with the new limit would always use up the whole space. But that didn’t happen. Only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters. As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline.” – Aliza Rosen, Twitter Product Manager

Will brevity on Twitter prevail? Only time will tell. Can you still be “inventive” with 280-character tweets?

Heck yes! These accounts nailed it.

Can you spot a theme emerging? Having more characters to use doesn’t mean you should use more text. My tip for social media managers: Think of 280 characters as more space to display your message.

You are now a social media designer. Design Tweets that are concise and creative. We already know that #too #many #hashtags #causes users to #disengage. I predict Tweets that use too much text will suffer the same fate.