From 140 to 280
Back in November, Twitter announced it would be expanding its character limit to 280. This was the first change to Twitter basics since its inception in 2006.
The original 140 character limit was set to mimic a text message which, at the time, displayed 160 characters. Twitter founders left 20 characters for the username and 140 for the tweet. The increase in character length is an interesting choice, especially following the release of an internal study conducted by Twitter.
Only 5% of tweets sent from people in the test group were longer than 140 characters and a mere 2% were over 190.
So why make the change?
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey explains, “one of the things that we’re seeing is that people would bounce up against the 140-character limit consistently and actually abandon tweets completely. So, we wanted to experiment with giving them a little bit more room, and one of the things we’re watching for is to see if the average tweet size would go up as a result and it has not.”
The percentage of users who abandon tweets has declined since the switch. Dorsey also said that retweets and overall interaction have been boosted since the update.
What does that mean for you?
As small business workers, we have to wear a lot of hats. If you are the one handling social media in your workplace consider this:
• 280 characters will help you better interact with customers
• Don’t overuse hashtags, two hashtags generate 21 percent more engagement
• Keep them short and sweet, users are just getting used to longer content
• Make sure to use links
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