Increase in Twitter’s character limit fails to enthuse digital experts
Twitter Co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s announcement yesterday (September 27, 2017) that the micro-blogging site is undergoing a test project increasing the character limit of tweets to 280, which is double the existing limit of 140 characters, has generated a lot excitement amongst the twitteratis. But what does it imply for brand activity?
The company’s official blog explains, “We want every person around the world to easily express themselves on Twitter, so we’re doing something new: we’re going to try out a longer limit, 280 characters, in languages impacted by cramming (which is all except Japanese, Chinese, and Korean). Although this is only available to a small group right now, we want to be transparent about why we are excited to try this.”
Meanwhile, Twitter recently appointed Httpool as its ad sales partner for India from October 1, 2017, expanding the advertising support for marketers in India.
Reactions are pouring in from all quarters – digital media experts and even from Mumbai Police’s Deven Bharti – on implications of the latest developments at Twitter. However, not everyone views the increase in the character limit as a positive development.
Good news for brands
Twitter’s USP is its brevity
Not everyone is so positive about this development. As tweeted by Rahul Welde, Global VP - Digital Transformation at Unilever, “Twitter’s move to 280 characters is not better for anyone. Twitter = Brief. Don’t think Longer = Better. It will dilute the promise of the platform.”
Sanjay Tripathy felt that while the switch to 280 characters could certainly help people explain things more articulately in updates, it also completely changes one of Twitter’s core features. “The whole beauty of Twitter is that it forces you to express your ideas concisely. A good tweet boils information down to what’s essential. You get the headline, and a little more information. Twitter’s defining attribute has long been its brevity. 140 characters in a post and no more. Many brands have used the 140-character limit well to convey the idea in a concise manner,” he added.
Will encourage trolls
“In my personal opinion, the step taken will diminish the creativity of an individual and comprehensive nature of the platform. The crispness of the medium will be eroded. As far as the Mumbai Police Department is concerned, the team will have to evaluate the newly taken step before coming to any conclusion,” he added.