The internet reacted quickly following reports Twitter is planning to change its character limit to 10,000. This project, Beyond 140 and said to be put into action in the next three months, should not change the way tweets are shown. Twitter will not want to disrupt users too much, so it will probably continue to show the 140-character tweets, with users able to expand the tweet to reveal more content.
For companies, Twitter is a great real-time marketing channel, allowing their brands’ personalities to shine and giving them the opportunity to engage with consumers through concise, considered content.
Having 10,000 character-long tweets would surely change this dynamic: as content moves so rapidly in a constant stream of messages, users are not used to engaging with a single tweet for longer than a few seconds. I’m not sure this will change in the short term, so brands should hold their course. If they have a successful content strategy they should continue as they are and only use this new feature for specific occasions, such as a crisis management.
Meanwhile this new extended 10,000-character tweet could give the platform a boost on search engines. Although it’s been less than a year since Google began testing tweets in mobile search results, this change could increase Twitter’s pick-up in search.
To preserve the spirit of the platform, brands should put their efforts into providing relevant, valuable and/or entertaining content to their followers, and keeping up with the quick conversation, just like we do for Kit Kat. An overuse of lengthy tweets might drive away followers and create a less engaged audience.
With Kit Kat it was about celebrating ‘the break’ using #mybreak. Kit Kat is now among the top 10 fmcg brands on Twitter.
Another consequence of this new feature could be that brands will be encouraged to publish full-length content on Twitter, and therefore links to external websites could diminish. This could have a heavy impact on websites that rely mainly on their ad platforms.
Florence Lujani is social team manager at J Walter Thompson London