One of our favourite social networks has finally rolled out long-awaited changes to how it works, and what it will allow users to do, meaning it’s wise to get up to speed.
Put simply, Twitter has now relaxed the rules on what constitutes 140 characters, the maximum length of any tweet. This means that you can still only use up to 140 characters, but only actual characters in words count towards this.
Long have people struggled to convey thoughts and ideas when quoting or using media due to the tight restrictions on the size of tweets, but these factors should no longer be a problem now the first major changes to the limit have been made since 2006, when the platform went live and users were texting tweets from mobiles (heady days indeed).
Of course there are some who believe this flies in the face of the fundamental principle of Twitter, but then there are some people who really believe the world would be better without any digital distractions whatsoever. From our perspective, this change can only be a good thing, and is necessary now that your average tweet is probably only partly text, with the rest taken up by videos, GIFs, images and the like. It’s also sensible for Twitter to respond directly to user frustrations, given its current somewhat mixed fortunes and potentially dubious future prospects.
Enough said then, here are four things you really need to know right now about using Twitter for marketing and PR… well, actually just four things you need to know about Twitter right now but, you know, let’s keep it professional.
If you reply to a tweet the @name no longer counts towards the character number, which is a huge bonus when trying to reach multiple users at once.
OK, this is a bit less straightforward. So, whilst you can now attach photos, GIFs, videos, quote tweets, or polls without taking up any characters, that only works when uploading directly through Twitter. Linking to this kind of content from external sources and sites will still mean you have less room for letters and words.
Retweet and quote yourself
As if anyone needed anymore narcissistic enablement, along comes the blue bird to make public self reflection, analysis and promotion even easier. So you can re-tweet yourself, as has been the case since June, but it’s now also possible to quote yourself, just in case there were follow up thoughts about that other thing you thought.
No more need for .@
In the past, if you tweeted @someone directly, unless you used another character (any character on the keyboard) before the @ it would only be seen by your followers who also follow that person, and vice versa. Putting a full stop was the most common practice because it was deemed the least invasive, but now there’s no need to use anything. Instead, just retweet your tweet and it will be broadcast to all.
What do you think about the new Twitter rules- a sensible next step or should they have left well alone? Let us know throughout the comments form below, or fire some thoughts at us on the usual social channels.