Best Practices

Twitter Changes: New Opportunities for Your Business

10 June, 2016
2 min read
Veronika Vebere

3-minute read

Social media networks are everchanging. The approved changes to the Twitter 140-character limit will create opportunities for businesses to express more in a single tweet.

And while we can now write tweets that are 280 characters long and add images without worrying about the character counter, two of the other changes are still in development stages: the removal of the @symbol and Twitter not counting usernames towards the character limit in replies.


Twitter announcements and what they mean for businesses and marketers

With over 80% of its users tapping on their screens, Twitter is one of the most mobile social media networks in the world today. It currently has over 310 million active monthly users, so these changes will affect a lot of users.

These key changes create four distinct opportunities.

1Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.

Hoorah for grammar! No more abbreviating words to acronyms that only millennials understand. Maybe it will reverse the downward slide of internet slang infecting business language. Be careful to not overdo it though, just because you are able to reply and tag a group of fifteen, doesn’t mean you should.

2 Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!

Absolutely fantastic news for all users worldwide. Year-by-year visual content is becoming more and more engaging and eye-catching. The bad news? There is no excuse for you to stall the creation of great visual content anymore. GIFs will probably catch on as well as video, then Twitter just might be a contender for giants of video like YouTube and Facebook.

So, now is probably the best time to start honing your image creation skills! Especially if your brand is active on Twitter or you are planning to create a presence. There are free image editing tools that can help you along the way. At Sendible we’ve integrated Canva into our tool - it’s easy to use and has great templates.

3 Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.

Repurposing your existing Twitter content? Great idea! It’s common knowledge that the lifespan of a single tweet is between 30 seconds to 2 minutes (source: Moz). So, the opportunity to promote old content allows you to extend the lifespan of your content.

Why not retweet or quote your key features, cornerstone content and even update tweets detailing performance (e.g. how many customers you have) to show how much you have grown. With this change, marketers may need fewer headline variations for each blog post, which means less work!

4Goodbye, .@: These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers.

Previously, if you wanted to mention a username at the front of the tweet (but not just reply) then you had to use the “.@” convention (the full stop before the @).

Now you will be able to type the username at the start of the tweet without adding the full-stop. Then, if you want to share the reply with your whole audience, simply retweet it. Two birds with one stone - nice.


How do we feel about these Twitter changes?

We definitely see this as a positive change for the better. The confirmed Twitter changes seem much more solid than the rumored 10,000 character allowance for tweets. They didn't even propose an edit button with it - madness.

Naturally, we will be updating our social media management tool to align with these changes.


What are your thoughts?

We’d love to know what you think about the proposed changes. Have you already made any adjustments to your marketing strategies? Or are you yet to see the benefits of Twitter marketing for your business?

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