Twitter's New Character Count


Jacqueline Puga

Nov 15, 2017


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Social Media

As of November 7th, Twitter announced that they would be expanding their character count from 140 characters to a whooping double character count of 280. The change comes after months of testing worldwide. The move is attributed to the way we use language. Twitter wants users to be freed from the constraints of a small character limit so that we can say what we mean without having to edit to meet a character limit heavily. The 140 character limit was set when the company started in 2006. Since Twitter initially used SMS, which had a limit of 160 characters, it used 20 for the user name and 140 for the content of tweets. The new 280 character limit will be applied to all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean since the nature of the characters of these Asian languages are more descriptive than the majority of other vocabularies. They can say more with fewer characters.

So what does this twitter update mean for your hotel social media strategy? For starters, let's examine how this new feature will affect how you produce fresh tweets. Users are more likely than not going to continue using the short form of tweets since it is the most comfortable but, as time goes on, more and more people will take advantage of the longer tweets. Twitter stats show that more people are not using the full 280 characters they are afforded. So does this mean that all of your tweets should be 280 characters going forward; Absolutely not. Just because you can tweet in longer form does not mean you should. Brevity is king and there are few things more annoying than lengthy prose. Stick to what makes sense. Use as much of the space as you need to get your point across, but don't overdo it just because you can. Other things matter just as much as your copy.

One of those things that can help is using quality photos to shape your brand. The visual aspect of social media is increasingly popular as various platforms move to continue pushing photos and videos over text. Don't let the new character count update outshine the fact that you can add stunning visuals to twitter to capture your audience's attention.

Another tip to make your twitter feed stand out against the competition is to test continually to perfect your strategy and replicate success. By analyzing the insights of your tweets, you can measure your results and track progress towards quantifiable goals. Once your goals are met, you can invest more resources into the strategy that works, or you can abandon fruitless efforts. So remember that although the expanded character count offers new possibilities for your account(s), other features can be used in conjunction to make your stand out!

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