Twitter 280 Characters | Reflect Digital
  • 08/11/2017
  • by Joanna

So the day has finally arrived for millions of Twitter users. The company has officially announced they’re doubling the limit of characters for tweets from 140 to 280 in a bid to boost engagement and draw in more users.  



It’s the first time the tweet character cap has been raised since Twitter was created 11 years ago. 

The company began testing the idea in September and found those people with 280 characters received more retweets, mentions, followers and spent more time on Twitter.  That has to be a good thing right? 

In a blog post Twitter said: “Only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters. As a result, your timeline reading experience should not substantially change, you’ll still see about the same amount of Tweets in your timeline. For reference, in the timeline, Tweets with an image or poll usually take up more space than a 190 character Tweet.” 

They add: “We’ll continue listening and working to make Twitter easier for everyone while making sure we keep what you love”  

But what does this all mean for brands? Can this do more harm than good if companies express themselves too much and bombard timelines, therefore making their followers click the unfollow button?  

Or can this actually be a good thing for brands? Surely having more room will allow companies to get their message across better? 

Here are some do’s and don’ts when tweeting with 280 characters: 

  • It might be great to include 280 characters of text plus images or videos but this could really put followers off. Be aware of what you are posting and how often. 

  • Sometimes when responding to customers using just 140 characters it can lack detail and be quite abrupt. Having 280 characters will now allow companies to sound more human when interacting with customers. 

  • Know your limits with hashtags – overusing them can really put off a customer and look ugly. 

  • Avoid using the same copy you use on Facebook and LinkedIn. Copy should be tailored for each platform.  

  • Avoid using the tweet as a landing page for your website.  

  • 280 characters can actually be really good for some companies, particularly for those who are running competitions, as it will allow them to fully state any strict disclosure rules they may have.  

Some companies have excelled themselves on Twitter today - thanks to the use of #280characters


Finally, Twitter says: “We’ll continue listening and working to make Twitter easier for everyone while making sure we keep what you love”  

Whatever you think about the new character update – all the Twitter users here at Reflect Digital Twitter really want is an edit button!  

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