Twitter have finally announced the long awaited update that means greater flexibility and more in-depth communication for users. No longer will media attachments at the end of messages, quote tweets or user names at the beginning of messages be included in the 140 character limit. Clearly this increased Twitter real estate offers improved functionality without impacting on Twitter’s core USP of concision and brevity. But what are the possible implications for business users looking to maximise the potential of Twitter for social media reach?
Visual media is proven to improve reach
The obvious and immediate impact will be on increasing reach through the use of hashtags and visual media. Tweets with photo attachments have a greater impact and are three times as engaging for viewers. Attach a video and that figures rises ninefold. Twitter polls and hashtags have proven effectiveness at increasing brand engagement and visibility. Handled with care, the newly expanded character limit provides digital advertisers with opportunities to create more effective campaigns within the 140 character limit.
Retweets and quotes for added value
The ability for users to retweet and quote themselves has interesting opportunities to add value to older tweets or boost the popularity of retweets. For a digital marketing strategy, the opportunity to develop more in depth content and communication by breaking information over a series of tweets can have an impact on the way digital marketers control the way content is displayed. This fluidity can help to establish narrative after the initial 140 character hook.
Power and utility
These changes reflect founder Jack Dorsey’s statement, made back in May when Twitter was revealed to be flirting with increasing the 140 character limit to 10,000 characters, that the company intends to build more power and utility into the social media platform. Whether the current changes signal an intention to finally move towards vastly increased character limits, with a genuine impact on Twitter viability as a digital marketing platform, remains to be seen. What is certain is that the ‘public messaging’ platform has suddenly become far more attractive as part of a multi-platform, mixed digital marketing and advertising strategy.