Twitter Doubles Character Limit To 280
Twitter has doubled its character limit from 140 to 280 characters, rolling out the update to all users in the next few days.
History of Twitter
Traditionally renowned for its brevity, Twitter began as an SMS-based communications platform whereby you could communicate with friends via status updates (Tweets). As it was originally designed for SMS, Tweets were limited to 140 characters to ensure each status update would be contained witth one SMS message. This 140 character limit was maintained once Twitter switched to a web-based platform, and became a key point of differentiation to other social media channels and a key factor of its branding and culture.
9% Hit The Limit
Twitter first began testing 280 character Tweets in September 2017. When announcing the test, the social media channel outlined that 9% of Tweets written in English hit the 140 character limit, whilst only 0.4% of Japanese Tweets hit this limit.
Twitter argued that "in languages like Japanese, Korean and Chinese you can convey about double the amount of information in one character as your can in many other languages, like English, Spanish, Portuguese or French".
Average English Tweet is 35 Characters
According to Twitter's research, the average Tweet in English has 34 characters, whilst Tweets in Japanese average out at 15 characters.
During the 280 character test phase, only 5% of eligible Tweets were longer than 140 characters, and only 2% were over 190 characters. Therefore, Twitter argues, users shouldn't be too concerned with their timelines filling up with 280 character tweets.
However, now that each Tweet has the potential to be a paragraph in length, will Twitter lose its unique brevity to see "what's happening"? Twitter gained popularity out of its rules and constraints, and increasing the limit will undoubtedly impact that culture.
Implications for your B2B
In addition to more characters to develop your brand and include strong calls-to-action, the 280 character limit enables your B2B to potentially increase engagement. According to Twitter's research, users benefitted from a higher engagement rate (Likes, Retweets, @mentions) during the 280 character testing phase and also increased their reach with additional followers.
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