How Do You Feel About Twitter’s Character Expansion?

Twitter recently announced that it has officially expanded its character allowance, from the original 140 characters to 280. The change, according to a post written by Twitter product manager Aliza Rosen on the company’s official blog, was made after observing that, apparently, tweeting just wasn’t easy enough.

My initial reaction (as an unenthusiastic Twitter user, if I’m being honest), was that this changes the point of the platform altogether. Twitter is known for its quick quips and, when we’re lucky to observe them, pithy, interesting thoughts.

Expanding the character allowance gives way to the epic rants that have so recently plagued the platform, and, without getting too political here, gives some people more license to, well, do what they do—how you feel about that is up to you. Pair that with its recent mess of verified user authentication and there’s a lot that can go wrong.

Still, Rosen assures us that, though users have the ability to make full use of the 280 characters, most don’t. “During the first few days of the test, many people tweeted the full 280 limit because it was new and novel, but soon after, behavior normalized,” wrote Rosen. “We saw when people needed to use more than 140 characters, they tweeted more easily and more often. But importantly, people tweeted below 140 most of the time and the brevity of Twitter remained.” (You can read full details of the study here).

My genuine question, as, again, someone who doesn’t really live on Twitter (at least for nonbusiness reasons): How do you feel about this? Does it make you feel concerned, excited, curious—do you even care?

Perhaps you plan to implement a strategy that could work in favor of your retail or design business—the boost in space may allow you to tell a story more seamlessly than you could ever before. Or, on the flip side, maybe you feel that this is a change that signifies a new era for Twitter, be that good or bad, who can say? But I’d love to talk about how this can work for businesses in the future, so your thoughts and ideas on the matter would be wonderfully welcome.

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