First announced in September, Twitter has finally rolled out its newest updates after months of teasing & testing with a group of trial users.  They have doubled the character limit on tweets from 140 to 280 characters.  This is a welcome update that could change how users, marketers and brands are having conversations on the social network.  Another new update allows users to change their display name to be 50 characters in length.

During the last year, Twitter has released smaller updates to help users carry on conversations on the social network.  When replying to a tweet, the characters in the Twitter handle of the people they replied to were not counted towards the limit, allowing users to respond to a Tweet with a full-length message.  In addition, a recent update also allows users to Quote a Retweet, allowing them to post a full-length message to add their input on to their source’s topic.

While the two updates above have been helpful to extend the length of a Tweet & encourage replies and conversation, the newest update to a character limit of 280 will likely have the largest impact on how users start conversations in the first place.  The longer limit gives more freedom for expression and allows more of an opportunity for users to add relevant hashtags to their posts, to be found by an interested audience.

Twitter’s research during the trial period shows that although users were able to publish Tweets up to 280 characters, on 5% of new posts sent were longer than 140 characters, and even less over 190 characters.

As we head into this new world of longer tweets, we may see changes in the ways that users, marketers and brands make use of Twitter, and could see an influx of users who previously avoided the platform due to the shorter character limit.  To help with readability and add credibility to Twitter and its users, this may also encourage users to use proper grammar and write in full sentences as they are no longer trying to keep their thoughts so short.

At Web Geeks, our social media team is engaging with brands and their audiences on a daily basis and staying on top of social media news and platform updates as they are released.  Whether your business already has a website and social profiles or is starting from scratch, Web Geeks works on all social platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & LinkedIn.  If your business is looking for a team to help manage their social media presence and digital marketing, please reach out to us and learn how we can work together to build your business and its audience.

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