If you are a business owner or a community manager, you know how important Twitter is for creating engagement among your followers and increasing brand awareness. Unfortunately, Twitter’s 140-character can be limiting and frustrating at times.
The great news is that Twitter recently removed the character limit for photos, videos, and quotes, which now makes our lives as marketers a whole lot easier. Let’s talk about what changed and why it is good for business.
140 Character Limit Changed
The 140-character limit has always been Twitter’s defining characteristic—the quality that has distinguished the platform from other social media sites. In the past, this limit has somewhat restricted the potential of Twitter as an effective marketing tool.
Last May, Twitter announced that it would be making changes and relaxing the rules when it comes to the way characters are used up in tweets. The social media giant no longer considers media files in its character limit. You can attach photos, videos, and quotes in your tweets without having to worry about using up the character count.
This means that tweets can now include more additional material, as compared to before when tweets were merely comprised of text. The following media attachments are no longer counted as characters when sending out tweets:
- Quote tweets
- Twitter handles in replies
Twitter also planned to do away with the .@ convention. Twitter was built in such a way that a tweet that is part of a personal conversation cannot be seen by everyone who follows you unless they also happen to follow the person you are tweeting.
Users got around this system by putting a period before a Twitter handle (@username) to make it possible to broadcast a personal reply to followers. But with Twitter’s recent changes, you no longer have to do this workaround in order for your tweets to seen by everyone who follows you.
Another great addition was that Twitter handles are no longer counted against the character limit, which provides more elbow room to an already confined and limiting space. Let’s say you start a conversation on Twitter and a lot of other users reply to your tweet. Your reply will be filled with many twitter handles, which can eat up a lot of space. With this new rule, Twitter handles such as @name1, @name2, and @name3 no longer gets counted as the conversation continues, so you have more space to share your thoughts.
Other Recent Changes
Twitter has also extended the character limit on its direct messaging platform. Previously, it only allowed 140 characters on a direct message, but now you can use up to 10,000 characters. This move is seen as a way to compete and keep up with other messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, and Facebook’s Messenger. The company also launched the Twitter group DM function, which makes it possible for multiple users (of up to 50 people) to message each other using one room.
Aside from using the Twitter Group DM in casual conversations with friends, you can also use this to network with other major players in your niche. You can also use this to create and foster a small community of loyal followers and brand evangelists for your brand.
See the Highlights
Twitter made a controversial change earlier this year in its algorithm. Like your Facebook feed, it now allows tweets it thinks you will be more interested in to show up first on your timeline. This move is seen as a big change from the strict chronological order it is used to be known for.
The rationale behind this change is to allow people who have not logged in the site to see the highlights right away. From a marketer’s point of view, this is an advantage because seeing the highlights first will allow you to make changes to your social media marketing content and take advantage of the days’ hottest trends and important hashtags.
Why The Changes?
The recent changes made by Twitter comes as part of a major upheaval being felt under Jack Dorsey’s management. Recently, the company has been called out for failing to promptly take action on reports of abusive behavior from some of its users. And just last month, the company made the announcement that it will be discontinuing Vine and laying off 9% of its employees.
The recent changes on the social platform were made to make Twitter more accessible and user-friendly for people who find it difficult to get used to its (sometimes confusing) conventions.
Why It’s Good for Business
From a business standpoint, the recent changes in Twitter is good for your social media marketing strategies. The most important change allows tweets to include additional marketing material that can come in the form of photos, videos, polls, and GIFs.
Incorporating different kinds of media attachments in your tweets—without having to worry about reaching your character limit—will certainly increase the engagement among your followers and improve your click-through rate.
People use Twitter as a conversational tool, which is why businesses also use this wonderful platform to create conversations and engage with their followers.
With all of these changes, it is important for your social media team to keep up. Now that Twitter is beginning to shake things up by introducing these new advanced features, it is up to marketers to take advantage of them in order to benefit.
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