In the past year, Twitter has tried several different changes to keep up with Facebook and Instagram, but none of them have yielded an increase in user growth. So enter the trial of 280 characters. Twitter has stated that the increase in character length will enable users to be more creative and allow them to “easily express themselves.” The 280 characters could also potentially change the Twitter game for brands and marketers.
One major advantage of the extra characters is the ability for brands to communicate more effectively with consumers. The increase in character length will allow brands to engage with their customers easier and will enable them to discuss their products or services in greater detail than if they used the standard 140 characters. The extra 140 characters also has the potential to make an impact on customer service. Often, Twitter is used for consumers to reach organizations about an issue. The 280 characters will make it easier for users to explain their problem and for companies to respond and engage. The extra length could allow users to be more descriptive in sharing their opinions on a service or product, which will then provide vital insight for brands.
On the flip side, the extra 140 characters might cause some issues. Consumers today want to receive their information in a concise manner, and the extra characters might turn some off. When considering the extra characters, companies should remember the importance of brevity on Twitter to still get their point across without being superfluous. It might be a good idea for brands to wait to use the additional characters or use them only when necessary.
The change ultimately comes with much uncertainty. Will the extra characters generate more tweets or less? And more importantly, will the larger character count entice new users or will Twitter lose some of its faithful user base? Only time will tell and with this new change, it will be interesting to see what direction brands take. Will they embrace the extra characters or stick to what they’ve known?