“If I’d had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” So goes the famous and widely cited refrain about the power – and difficulty – of writing concise and impactful copy. Which is why, since 2006, Twitter’s arbitrary 140 character count has demanded a certain artful brevity to write a thoughtful, clear message on the platform.
Well, this week, they kicked the discipline to the curb, not only increasing, but doubling the channel’s available character count from 140 to 280 for most users. The response has been mixed, to be kind.
At Hero Digital, we believe in the power of taking more time to write a shorter letter. But to be diplomatic, we polled a swath of internal content marketing experts to get their take on both the positive and negative potential of the change.
The constraint: Keep responses below 280 characters :-0
Being loquacious, my reaction when it was announced was great! But I also believe the short character count is essential. Succinct Tweets ensure the focus of the message. Marketers have to resist the urge to increase message length without expanding the value and relevance.
Mo characters do not mean mo problems. Adding relevant hashtags and @ mentioning involved parties help to boost the visibility and sharing potential of Tweets. I previously struggled to properly nod to all involved partners in my Tweets – so I’m excited about this change!
I believe this will drive brands who use the channel well (not many) to make even shorter, more meaningful posts. “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.” – Blaise Pascal
To me, the beauty of Twitter has always been the thoughtfulness that goes into each tweet, by editing to fit into 140 characters. Increased character count will allow individuals and brands to go off the cuff which I predict will decrease the quality of content across the board.