Why Influencers Love and Hate the New 280-Character Tweets

Opinion: There are folks who love the change and others who stubbornly refuse to like or use the new feature

140 or 280? Twitter

I’ve always loved the concept of microblogging and the challenge of fitting a thought into 140 characters—it encourages creativity and sharpness.

But Twitter isn’t what Twitter used to be back in the day when conversation was a hallmark. Now it’s an endless stream of news and rants. And let’s face it: Some celebrities and politicians are already over-tweeters.

That said, Twitter officially rolled out 280-character tweets, and celebrities and newscasters have already jumped on the bandwagon.

One does wonder if Twitter will see some of the results it so desperately needs:

  • Will the longer tweets bring a lift in engagement?
  • Will new users flock to Twitter because of the new length?

Twitter continues to struggle from an operational standpoint and in coming up with innovative marketing solutions to meet the needs of the advertiser community. And the social network has two important trends to acknowledge that fly in the face of longer tweets:

We live in a visual world more and more.

We all have content overload, so we scan to absorb.

Influencers love the pithy and concise aspect of the original 140 count

Twitter was created as a microblogging platform, and those of us who embraced it early on loved it because it was concise. “One of the things I like so much about Twitter is the brevity, so I’m not sure how often I will be using all 280 characters,” said Jessica Shade Morrison of 30 Something Mother Runner.

Lori Pace of A Day in Motherhood agreed, saying, “I already have a hard time keeping up with a very busy Twitter feed. By the time I read a 140-character tweet, it is gone. Now 280 will make it harder to read the tweets quickly. But maybe I am old-school.”

Lorelai Victoria of Life With Lorelai said, “I liked the challenge of writing a concise 140-character tweet, but the new limit will help with marketing and the use of longer hashtags. I look forward to stretching my wings in future tweets.”

“I was a huge fan of the 140-character limit. I feel like the character limit helped keep Twitter apart from the other platforms. The limit helped keep tweets short, sweet and to the point, which is so crucial in marketing if you really want to catch people’s attention. I personally get bored when people get too wordy on social networks, as I don’t have the desire or time to read long updates,“ added Ashley Amundsen, whose blog is WanderLustBlog.

Some influencers love the new character count

As with anything new, there are folks who love the change and others who stubbornly refuse to like or use the new feature. But our influencer community, Social Fabric, had members excited about the evolution.

Saidah Washington of Aprons and Stilletos said, “I’m a talker, so the more characters, the better. More space makes it easier to get my point across and still be able to tag people or brands I’m communicating with.”

Andrew Eaton of Scrappy Geek replied, “As an influencer, I love it. It allows me more space to creatively showcase a brand and/or product to my audience.”

Kara Johnson Miller of Kara in the Kitchen had been avoiding Twitter and said, “I absolutely love it. I have avoided Twitter (aside from having my Instagram and blog posts pushed through) for the most part. I just can’t say everything I need to say in 140 characters, so 280 is a beautiful thing.”

Influencers believe the longer character count will help with sponsored content

All too often, brands want influencers to fit everything and the kitchen sink in a tweet, so some influencers are thrilled with the longer option. “The only reason the 140 characters was ever restrictive was the use of larger hashtags. People were able to sum things up. And it was kept more authentic and creative. My only concern with 280 characters is that messages (and hashtags) will run on—especially in sponsored advertising requirements,” said Rachel Everheart of RoastedBeanz.

“I think it’s great, and it will allow more people to get in on Twitter. But I don’t see it really affecting how long tweets are because people who love Twitter think in 140 characters,” said Jennifer Priest of Smart Fun DIY.

What influencers really want from Twitter

Influencers like Clarissa Laskey of Clarissa Explains It All want an edit option. She said, “I don’t have an issue with the character expansion; I just really want Twitter to include an edit option.” Right now, if you want to edit, you need to delete the tweet and tweet the updated thought back out. And everyone makes an occasional spelling mistake, which Twitter doesn’t allow you to fix.

Wouldn’t it be grand if Twitter automatically sized your photos? Pace has a wish, as well: “I would rather Twitter make it easier to see photos. They like to cut those off. But we shall see how it goes.”

Holly Pavlika is senior vice president of marketing and content at influencer marketing provider Collective Bias, an Inmar company.