Social media, especially twitter.com, is rife with news of a proposed change in the wayTwitter fundamentally works – character limit for Twitter, which is now 140, is to be increased to 10,000!
The Twitter users are understandably appalled at this suggestion. But what about the marketers who use the platform?
Re/code first reported that Twitter was building a product like this back in September. On 5th Jan, 2016, they reported that the company is targeting a launch date toward the end of Q1, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans. CEO Jack Dorsey provided much more clarity with his tweet later in the day.
Taking screenshots of text and posting it as image to show how inconvenient it is (for the tweet publisher and the reader), and how the proposed change would palliate this problem. We get it, Jack. Well played.
This is seen as a sign that Twitter and Jack Dorsey are willing to make serious changes in hopes of luring new users, increasing engagement from newly registered (often clueless) users, and – from a marketer’s perspective – most importantly, increasing ad revenue. This optimism seems to be misplaced when you consider recent initiatives like ‘Moments’, polls in tweets, “buy” button and heart-shaped “like”, all of which seems to have made little impact so far
Increasing the limit of Direct Messages (DM) back in mid 2015 to 10,000 was indeed a welcome change for brands that use Twitter as a customer service tool. It helped eliminate the back-and-forth discussion between customer and business via DM’s.
As far as the new proposed change is concerned, for the marketer, this means more incentive to publish original and good quality native content on Twitter, for better brand building and user engagement (provided the users are still there). Instead of writing in Medium or a brand blog, the content can be on Twitter itself . 10,000 characters would roughly translate to 1500-1600 words, and Twitter believes that this is enough to keep the user engaged on the platform itself, rather than navigating away through a click, or reading text on an image. Neither of this can be indexed and are hence unavailable for targeting via ads.