Twitter Doubles Tweet Length to 280 Characters

What’s this about?

Who doesn’t love Twitter?

That rambunctious well of pithy brevity and censorious outrage has just gone and doubled tweet length, causing social media marketers all over the world to urgently rewrite their six-month’s worth of tweets which were calendared in Hootsuite.

There are other things you need to do. Hint: read the post for key actions.

This is an extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates 10th November 2017.

#SEO #SEONews #SocialMedia #Twitter #ContentMarketing


Twitter Doubles Tweet Length

Key Issues Summary:

  • Completely ignoring anguished user cries for an edit button, Twitter has instead doubled the length of Tweets from 140 characters to 280.
  • This, according to Twitter, is due to longer posts driving more engagement, and the fact that ideographic languages like Chinese, or Japanese can convey 280 characters worth of information in a 140 character form.
  • This is also the result of just under 10% of all tweets hitting the 140 limit, whereas under the 240 schema, only 1% do.
  • This is good, if you’re not that brief.

Twitter Doubles Tweet Length to 280 Characters

Key Actions To Take:

  1. If you’re using the default Twitter apps, or the Twitter web interface, you will have access to 280 characters by default.
  2. If you are posting / or re-posting from inside another app, or interface (such as LinkedIn currently), you’re stuck at 140 until they update their code.
  3. Many of the really popular social sharing and posting management apps have already updated. Check your apps.
  4. If creating longer tweets, make sure you still hit your engagement, or action, KPIs.
  5. If longer tweets don’t work for you, go back to 140.
  6. You may need to go back through your planned content shares and rewrite 140 character tweets you’ve already scheduled.
  7. Click here to contact me to discuss how to craft Tweets.

Insights & Discussion:

I like Twitter, even though it’s not used a great deal in Australia. As someone who writes (like this!) I find its brevity forces you to write concisely and accurately.

I’m yet to be convinced that 280 characters is really going to be mind-blowing. A lot of the people I follow still write very concisely, although there are a few who will still manage to Tweet Storm at 280 characters.

Over the last couple of years, Twitter has worked hard to incorporate more actual content in Tweets, handles in replies no longer count to character count, and all URLs get counted as a set number of characters, regardless of how many characters there are.

I understand user desires for an edit button, but that way lies calumny. Twitter’s sometime rapid-fire nature would mean that threads get changed depending on reactions to the original. That has been seen all over forums over the years, which is why many now block editing after a short time.

The question for Twitter is how long would be a viable time to edit. And if it gave an “instant” edit option would users just keep on going on, and on, and on, until they badger a longer time limit. Knowing internet users the way I do, that would take about 15 seconds before the moaning started.

More Information:

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TL;DR

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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