Here at EPIC, we’re always interested in what’s new and upcoming in the world of online media. So, when Twitter recently announced that they were thinking about doing away with the 140-character limit, we were all over it. Whether this idea is Twitter’s saving grace or downfall is up for debate, and our social team decided to weigh in.
Scott Covelli- Social Media Specialist
It doesn’t even take 140 characters to explain why this isn’t a great idea for Twitter, but I’m going to use a few more than that anyway. If this ends up being a blog-style offshoot of Twitter, sending users to a separate page, then I’m more optimistic about it. However, if I have to scroll through big blocks of text in my Twitter feed, that will make for a tough user experience.
On Twitter as it stands now, we’re all on the same playing field. We each get 140 characters to tell a breaking news story, share an opinion, tell a joke, or sometimes all three. You might think that more words means more creativity, but I think it’ll be the opposite. Being concise is a great skill that not many of us have, but more of us should. Telling a story Twitter right now uniquely saves people from themselves and simplifies a social landscape that can get pretty muddled.
Twitter blogs? Cool. No character limit on direct messages? Awesome. Long-form prose in my feed? No thanks.
Katelyn Staaben- Social Media Specialist
Anyone posting on Twitter has suffered through the frustration of trying to fit a m
essage into the 140-character limit. But eliminating that limit, while it may ease frustrations when attempting to place multiple three-syllable words into a single tweet, gets rid of the very thing that makes Twitter what it is. Twitter’s strength is short, easily consumable content. They
would be better off perfecting that which sets them apart than imitating Facebook or LinkedIn, who are already succeeding with long-form content.
Of course Twitter can always improve. Taking links or handles out of the character count would free up a few spare characters and give a little more flexibility to users. But is it worth it for Twitter to risk the fundamental idea it was built on in the hopes of growing its user base? I don’t think so.
Andy Parmann- Social Media Specialist
Let’s get this out of the way: Twitter didn’t set a 140-character limit to prevent writers from creating overly complicated content; they set it because in the Stone Age people would tweet using SMS messages.
Removing the character limit could solve three huge issues for the platform: users, time on site and revenue. It will bring a new wave of much-needed users to a plateauing network, the long form content will keep people on Twitter instead of leaving the network to read articles and it will open up new advertising options for marketers.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a proponent of short, bite-sized content, but all brands need to occasionally reinvent themselves to stay relevant. I’m sure the core of Twitter will remain the same, and you’ll need to click to read beyond the first 140 characters. The brands that will see the most success will accept the change, but continue using best practices.
What do you think of the change? Here at EPIC, we’re still split on whether this is the best path. Only time will tell whether this change brings Twitter back into the light or if it will continue to push users away.
Featured photo courtesy of: https://housebuyfast.co.uk/