Have you ever had to edit the good parts out of your tweet to make it fit into 140 characters? Have your followers ever missed part of your update because you had to split it into multiple tweets? Then you may be happy about this news: Twitter has announced that it intends to double its character limit.* Those 280 characters offer a lot more room to express yourself on this powerhouse social media platform.
The expanded character account partly resulted from a discrepancy between Western and Eastern languages. Namely, the fact that East-Asian Twitter users rarely use up the character limit when crafting their tweets. After all, a single character in Japanese or Chinese can convey a concept that might require multiple words in English or French.
“Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese,” says Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen. That’s why Twitter plans to double their iconic 140-character limit for all languages “impacted by cramming.” That includes all languages except for Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
Twitter originally established their character limit to fit within the 160-character limit of SMS messages (20 characters were used for the username). That’s how they distributed tweets in the days before mobile apps. Now advances in social media technology make the limit seem a little arbitrary. The doubled limit of 280 characters will still keep tweets brief enough to be easily readable. But it will also remove some of the frustration many users feel when they try to tweet a complete thought.
Reactions to the Twitter Change
However, this move is not without its opponents. Many veteran twitter users are skeptical of the change. They argue that an expanded character limit is unnecessary and promotes laziness. Others feel that they’re more likely to skip over longer tweets in their feed. But Twitter remains optimistic that its users will ultimately embrace the change.
“…There may be an emotional attachment to 140 characters – we felt it, too,” says Rosen. “But we tried this, saw the power of what it will do, and fell in love with this new, still brief, constraint.”
This character extension is a great opportunity for insurance agents. For instance, it can be hard to educate your followers about a certain coverage or insurance term in just 140 characters. Twitter’s new limit will make it easier to get your point across. You can share the knowledge you want your clients to have. And that’s just one area where it might be useful. Sharing news about your agency or exciting happenings in the insurance industry will be easier, too.
How do you see your agency using this new and expanded character limit?
–By Mallory DuPuy