News leaked out late yesterday that Twitter plans to allow users to post content beyond 140 characters. Jack Dorsey (@Jack), the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, confirmed the news in a tweet late yesterday that Twitter is exploring changes to the platform. Though he wasn’t specific, Re/code says Twitter will launch a feature enabling users to post content with up to 10,000 characters.
The change makes sense. Right now, users read tweets and many tweets, if not most, have a link. Users click the link that takes them from Twitter to another platform to reader longer content pieces. From a business perspective, this change enables Twitter to keep users on the Twitter platform. Twitter wants users spending more time on Twitter. More eyeballs spending longer time on their platform results in more advertising revenue.
The Twitter timeline will look the same. The new feature will likely give you a “read more” option at the end of tweets. Marketers can learn 3 things from Twitter’s big announcement:
- Users want content. Twitter is responding to market demands. People crave content and Twitter is making it possible for more content to be consumed on their platform. If your business wants to reach and influence your target audience, you need a strategy to develop and distribute content daily. LinkedIn has Pulse and Facebook has Instant Articles. Twitter is trying to keep up.
- Things change, things remain the same. Currently, you have 140 characters to tease users with a value proposition and call to action. The brevity and simplicity of Twitter forces creative copywriting. You will still have 140 characters and need creative copywriting. With the change, you only have to convince users to “read more.” You don’t have to convince them to leave the platform and go to your website. It seems small, but it will make a difference. You will have more space to earn credibility with users before they respond to your call to action.
- Twitter is struggling. Twitter is looking for a way to re-energize the platform, even if it means changing one of their core features. After the news leaked, their stock dropped. The market views Twitter as unstable. User growth has slowed along with revenue.
Twitter has become an aggregator of headlines and news with links to other platforms. It is attempting to mature into a more content rich platform, as seen by the introduction of Moments earlier this year. If Twitter has been the primary social media platform for your business, you need to consider diversifying your portfolio.
Social media is here to stay. Your target audience is using it multiple times daily. These platforms offer businesses a way to make connections with their target audience where they are through compelling content. Whether the content is 140 characters or 10,000 characters, your business still needs a plan to create and curate content that engages and influences your target audience.