Twitter, once famous for its 140-character posts, is now allowing posts as long as 280 characters. This is potentially good news for brands.

This paragraph and the previous one are 140 characters long. That’s the tiny space brands had to join conversations and share their stories.

Twitter New Character Limit 2017

Twitter’s new character limit, introduced on 11/8/17, doubles the space users have to post.
Image: Shutterstock

On Wed., 11/8/17, Twitter announced it is doubling the limit for a tweet to 280 characters. To give you an idea of what that means, that is the length of this paragraph. You’ll have more room to market your brand, communicate with followers, and manage your social media presence.

Since 2015, Twitter direct messages have had a higher character count limit than tweets. This has made it easier for people to communicate one-to-one with brands and ask for help with pressing issues. However, this is the first time the company has increased the length of tweets.

Twitter said in a Nov. 7 blog post that when they tested the 280-character limit, people initially wrote tweets the full 280 characters long. But despite the new limit, after the novelty wore off, people tweeted below 140 most of the time, leaving Twitter’s famous brevity intact.

Twitter reported that in addition to tweeting more often, people who had more room to tweet received more engagement and followers and spent more time on the social network. As a bonus, users also shared that the expanded space made it easier to express themselves satisfactorily.

What does this mean for you and your online presence? First, the good: You’ll be able to convey more information in a single tweet, giving you more opportunity to ensure that your message is on brand. It will also help your audience see what they need to know in just one message.

The 280-character limit means you can expand your tweets in order to make the most of all your opportunities to gain followers and reach out to your clients or customers. You will be able to provide a clearly written call to action, which you may not have been able to do before.

If you want your brand to have the best possible presence on Twitter, make use of the platform’s 280-character limit to tell your company’s story. You may need to develop a new social strategy in order to make the best use of the expanded space you now have to tell that story.

Whatever you do, don’t forget that brevity is the soul of wit, as Shakespeare said. You won’t be any worse off if you stick with 140-character tweets. However, if you do decide to expand your tweets to 280 characters, remember that many Twitter users still prefer brief messages.

The trouble with the 280-character limit is that people can use the greater length of tweets to post even more inflammatory content than has been posted before. Harassment and other negative behaviors, including bots posting and spreading messages, could become more of a problem.

Because of this, it will become increasingly important for you to monitor your Twitter stream for responses, at-mentions, direct messages, and retweets, to ensure that your messages aren’t being used to promote an agenda that isn’t yours, thereby damaging your brand’s reputation.

While some Twitter users have been celebrating the character limit expansion, others say it violates a key aspect of Twitter posts: brevity.

But the novelty will wear off soon enough, and our bet is that we’ll see that most users will revert to tweeting in 140 characters or fewer.

Agile Impact can help you manage your brand’s Twitter presence, 280 characters at a time. (Or 140 characters, if that’s what you’d prefer.)