Friday, March 18, 2016

Twitter Sticking to 140-Character Limit

In an interview on the "Today" show today, Jack Dorsey (co-founder & CEO of Twitter) announced that the company is sticking to its 140-character limit. "It's a good constraint for us. It allows for of-the-moment brevity" Jack Dorsey said in the interview.  

Earlier this year in January, Twitter considered extending the character limit to 10,000 characters, outraging some loyal Twitter users.  The proposed change would not have affected how tweets appeared in the twitter stream- users would still see the 140 character limit but would have the option to click on the tweet to see the full message.  The idea called "Beyond 140" stemmed from the creative ways people worked around the 140 limit i.e. users posting screenshots of larger blocks of text or using "tweet storms" of multiple tweets in succession. "Beyond 140" attempted to appease these users without disrupting the visual layout of Twitter's current design.

If Twitter were to implement the 10,000 character limit, there would be some advantages to online brand marketers.  For instance, brands would have been able to better engage with their audience due to more character space and educate potential prospects with detailed messages.   Twitter is also used by brands to address user complaints, which brands find difficult to do with only a 140-character limit as responses cannot be as personal in such a short message.  In my experience, I have tweeted brands with complaints and they have gotten back to me pretty quickly and the response seemed "customized" to my issue.  They were able to appease me in under 140 characters, but they could have said anything to me because I was just happy that they even responded :-).


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