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The evolution of Twitter and the effect on brands

Twitter currently takes 23 characters off your 140 limit for posting multimedia such as video, photos and URLs. Once this is combined with hashtags or emojis it doesn’t leave much room for getting your message across and/or promoting a product. The micro-blogging site have now announced changes that will be implemented in the coming months for photos and videos to simply be attached to the post – leaving people with a full tweet of letters to send, even if they’re including three pictures. The @names that people use to tag other people on the site will be dropped from the character count, too; whereas previously they counted as normal letters. It’s a bold, out-of-character move that will now leave more room for people and brands to get their message across.

Some critics are claiming that these changes are a poor attempt to increase Twitter’s struggling user database, which has

remained static for the past two quarters. Others claim that it is about time for this update and it is indicative of how the internet is evolving to a more GIF and video based focus, rather than the heavily text based focus prominent only a couple of years ago.

The previous character limits have, in the past, led to ugly and confusing tweets whereby there is also ambiguity over what a product is or what a brand is actually promoting. This slight widening of the jaws will now encourage brands to use richer content through Twitter and allows advertising agencies more flexibility to engage with audiences which will ultimately increase overall direct response (DR) performance as well as brand awareness.

The view that every social platform has a unique purpose and that Twitter works best with ‘concise content, not waffle’ is commonplace in the midst of these changes. However, for brands who are already limited by issues such as multiple term and condition limitations, this opens up new possibilities for using this social platform.

All Response Media Viewpoint

Using our numerous financial clients as an example here, we can finally start to push this social platform where it was previously tricky to do so. With financial products, compliance issues mean we have to include terms such as ‘T’s and C’s Apply’; this takes up 17 characters that we lose when talking about the product, which as previously mentioned can lead to misleading tweets. The extra characters will allow us further room for explanation and therefore individuals who click through the ad will be more aware of what’s on offer. This ultimately will lead to more engaged users clicking through to client websites, with a lower bounce rate and a likely increase in conversion.