There was once a time that Twitter insisted a 140 character limit was the key to its success, forcing users to be more creative and succinct. However, last year the social media giant acknowledged that over time this may have become more of a hindrance than a bonus and it doubled the character limit to 280. In December it was also announced that Twitter was taking another step into the territory of “going long” with official “threads” that would make it easy for users to string together a series of tweets.
What is a Twitter thread?
You may also have heard this described as a “tweetstorm” but Twitter is rebranding it as a “thread.” It is essentially where multiple tweets are joined together so if read in a continuous line they create a much longer post. You might have done this yourself with a series of tweets that begin “1/x,” “2/x” etc but there’s no getting away from the fact that this looks untidy and is a bit awkward to read, especially if your profile is a business one.
What are the changes being made?
As the change rolls out across Twitter multiple tweets will be able to be linked together by using the “+” button. This will add the next tweet in the thread and you can keep doing this until the message you want to communicate is complete. The feature isn’t just for new tweets either – you’ll be able to add a thread on to tweets that are already published too. For those browsing your feed there will be the option to “show this thread,” which will reveal the entire series of tweets in one go.
How could this help you to share and link related tweets?
It will be much easier to link related Tweets together with this new feature so the restriction of Twitter’s character limit is effectively lifted. If you’ve struggled to really use Twitter up until now in your social media marketing because of these restrictions then no doubt this will open up new opportunities for growth and reach. It’s worth bearing in mind that users still expect social media to be easily digestible and may not have the attention span to stick it out to the end of a thread of 20+ tweets. However, previous intelligence on tweets being the shorter the better isn’t actually all that accurate so exploring a longer format for social media marketing in 2018 could be a good idea.
Does a longer tweet actually work?
Yes, research recently published by Buzzfeed shows that it definitely does. According to Buzzfeed, those tweets that are making use of the new longer limits i.e. which are more than 140 characters tend to get more likes and retweets than those that remain 140 characters or less. Whether this is a novelty that will wear off after a while remains to be seen. For now though “going long” is worth investigating.
If you’re looking for ways to shake up your social media marketing strategy for 2018, expanding into longer tweets and threads could be a great way to create better profile and engagement. Contact us to find out more about our Social Media Marketing service.