Say More for Less on Twitter

Longer tweets have arrived.

When Twitter launched in 2006, Tweets were defined as 140-character text messages, many times even sent via SMS. Over the past decade, Twitter has evolved and updated its platform to include photos, GIFs, videos, polls and more. Last week, the company implemented another big change: replies and media attachments will no longer contribute to the 140-character limit. Twitter believes this move will encourage users to express even more in 140 characters, in turn stimulating and elevating conversation, while increasing the average number of media attachments per Tweet.

Here’s how the Twitter character update will affect your brand’s social presence and strategy:


Beginning this week, @names that auto-populate at the beginning of a Tweet reply no longer count toward the character limit. Additionally, new Tweets that start with a user name no longer have to use the “.@” convention in order to have those Tweets reach all followers. As a result, response Tweets on the profile page are cleaner. The changes also free up real estate for an extra word or two – real estate brands can turn into meaningful content.

Media Attachments

A URL at the end of Tweets generated from attaching photos or a video, GIF, poll, Quote Tweet or DM deep link no longer count toward the character limit. This update is a game changer for brands. Now, when you insert a media attachment, you have options. You can add roughly another sentence of content to the post, include rich adjectives or descriptors, or tack on additional hashtags. This change is an opportunity to elevate your content and connect with even more Twitter users.

The Twitter character update is one of many improvements hitting the social media scene in 2016. As users increasingly choose to receive and share engaging, thoughtful content that tells a comprehensive story, platforms are taking note and making adjustments. For Twitter, that means giving users a few more characters to enrich their posts. 

Have you or your brand benefitted from longer tweets? Share your experiences with us @WrayWard on Twitter. 

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