Last Tuesday Twitter announced that it has started to test 280 character tweets. This means the 140 character limit could potentially double.

Twitter’s explained the development by stating –

“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people tweeting in English… When people don’t have to cram their thoughts into 140 characters and actually have some to spare, we see more people Tweeting – which is awesome!”

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s Chief Executive described the test as “a small change, but a big move”

Initially the increased character count will only be available to selected Twitter users, but if they roll this out across the whole channel, this could be on of the biggest developments in social media marketing history.

What could the change mean for your social media marketing strategy –

Earlier in 2017 I wrote a blog post predicting future social media trends.

Here’s what I said about Twitter –

“Twitter will survive, but evolve further. At this time last year, lots of experts were predicting the death of Twitter.

In 2016, as Twitter struggled to keep up with the active user numbers of other channels, it made some pretty major updates, including changing what is counted in the 140 character limit.

I think Twitter will continue to exist, but 2017 will see more changes, updates and developments. New features including live streaming and real time news are apparently in the pipeline.”

Click here to read the full blog post –
Predictions – The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2017

Social Media Strategy - things that you should be doing on Twitter

Help with marketing – Thinks that you should be doing on Twitter

It appears that changes, updates and developments are on the horizon.

The character count of tweets in Twitter has always caused frustration and concern especially for English writing users. 140 characters was originally selected to resemble the length on sms messages.

It’s reported that around 10% of all tweets are exactly 140 characters. I don’t think this is a coincidence. The authors of these tweets have probably spent time deleting characters to ensure their tweets fall below the allowed character limit.

Only last year Twitter made some changes to what would be included in the character count. They removed @names in replies, media attachments (jpegs or movies) and quoted tweets.

Read more about the 2016 changes here –
Twitter update – a guide to understanding the recent changes

The experiments from last week suggest that more changes are required to increase the user base and encourage existing users to be more active.

Doubling the character limit might sound drastic – but rumours suggest that Twitter have considered a 500 or even a 1,000 character limit.

Facebook and Instagram user numbers are increasing significantly while Twitter still has a relatively small active user base –

Facebook has around 1.13 billion daily active users and Instagram has 500 million monthly active users.

Twitter has only 313 million monthly active users.

The Secrets of Social Media Marketing Strategy

Help with marketing – The Secrets of Social Media Marketing Strategy. Click here to find out more.

If increasing the character limit encourages more people to tweet, then I think it could be a good thing. But Twitter still needs to do more to make up ground on the other social media channels.

Facebook and Instagram advertising are the latest trends to draw users to these channels. The emergence of groups is also a significant recent social trend.

Increasing the character count is a great start, but Twitter still needs to do more to make up lost ground.

Lets get connected! You can find me on Twitter at Perro_Andy. #freemarketingtips

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