Twitter Expanding Character Limit-Pros & Cons
Twitter announced that they are might be planning to boost their character limit from 140 to 10,000, expected to happen sometime in March. This is a big move for Twitter, but is it the right move? Check out Jessica Guynn’s article in USA Today, “Jack Dorsey Hints Twitter to Lift 140 Character Limit” for more information about the anticipated announcement.
Guynn also talks about how your Twitter feed would look and function in her post:
“How it would work: 140 characters of a tweet would be visible in the timeline. Clicking on the tweet would reveal the rest of the tweet. Users would be given the option to write beyond 140 characters but would be warned that users would not see the rest of the tweet unless they expanded it.”
In a nutshell, Twitter is trying to expand the content that users post to the platform without changing the way you look through your feed.
There is a lot of buzz trying to decide if this is a positive or a negative for users, businesses, and for Twitter itself as a platform. With that being said we’ve put together a pros and cons list about this Twitter news in order to determine the effectiveness of this idea.
Pros of Character Limit Increase:
More text = more search-ability.
Search queries through search engines and Twitter itself will become more valuable and relevant. If there is more content to search through odds are that it will be more relevant than the content you were receiving from your searches on Twitter before.
More intriguing posts and shared content without the limit.
When I am writing tweets I always hope that there is just a few more characters allowed. There has been times when the limit inhibits the message and diminishes the value of the post altogether.
Opens opportunities for better conversations.
Twitter is rarely used for full discussions and conversations because of the character limit. People can’t get their points across with only 140 characters, unless it’s in a direct message, but then that only allows the user to have a conversation with a single person, rather than a meaningful discussion with like-minded people.
Businesses can gain more insights about their followers.
The insights gained about customers through Twitter after the character boost will give businesses and organizations more information about the users because there is more information that those users will be putting out. Better insights lead to businesses reaching their audience more effectively.
Cons of Character Limit Increase:
Loss of differentiation
The number one reason that this increase in characters will have a negative impact on Twitter’s popularity is that they lose their main competitive advantage and they could become just another social network left in the dust because it’s too similar to Facebook and other social sites.
Even thought the feed will look the similar, it won’t contain completed ideas if it exceeds 140 characters. On our mobile devices, Twitter is perfect for 140 characters because you can quickly browse through completed thoughts and ideas without digging into posts just to see if it will be relevant to what you are looking for.
More traffic to Twitter, less to links.
Instead of directing traffic to websites, blogs, news sites, and other places that we lead people to in our tweets currently, the “read more” button will keep users in Twitter’s universe. This makes it harder for businesses and bloggers to direct traffic to their links, which could hurt their business and overall traffic.
Ultimately, the question is, will Twitter users adapt to this transformation when it comes, or will it make Twitter too similar to other social sites that users will see it as obsolete? Have a Pro or Con to add? Post it in the comments below!