How to Lose a Follower in 280 Characters
Peter Panda

So. Twitter did a thing. Shocking, I know. Unless you’ve been on one of those overhyped “off the grid” sabbaticals where you “unplug” from the internet (idgi), you probably heard the big news that came out earlier this week.

Following their typical M.O., Twitter introduced a new feature that no one really asked for: longer tweets. Breaking the mold that set them apart from the very beginning, Twitter is doing away with the standard 140 character limit we’ve all come to love/hate/embrace over the years.

Twitter: @Twitter

 

WHAT IN THE HECK?!? 280?!? WDYM???

It means your tweets can be longer now, duh. What kind of stupid question is that?

A better question would be, “Will my timeline start looking more like Facebook?” The answer is… most likely not. While the character limit has doubled in length, it’s still pretty restrictive. Even with the extended character limit, you still don’t have the room to write a whole blog style post like you can on other platforms. Twitter will continue to be a place where you can find the most important pieces of information at a fast pace.

WELL GOLLY ISN’T THAT NEAT! HOW DO I GET THIS LOVELY FEATURE?

Twitter started rolling out the 280 to select users shortly after the announcement on Tuesday. No word yet on when the feature will be extended to all users, as this is still being posited as a test for the time being. In the past, Twitter has completely pulled features that received overwhelming criticism, but with a change this significant it seems unlikely that they would do that in this instance.

Thankfully hope isn’t all lost if Twitter didn’t deem you special enough to receive the 280. If you’re like me and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make jokes about the new feature, you probably force enabled it using some clever hacks created by people much more intelligent than myself. Check it out for yourself by following the instructions
here or here.

DOPE. SO HOW SHOULD BRANDS USE THIS?

s/o to the legend, Hide The Pain Harold

  1. Honestly, don’t. (jk)
  2. But for real, anything you post should still be limited to 140 characters (roughly). Twitter is a rapidly moving machine, just like all social media is, so your copy needs to be able to capture your audience’s attention and deliver your message in a succinct manner. Don’t make your audience have to work to consume your content. Eye catching, to the point content will still prevail even in a 280 world.
  3. If you have a fun brand voice and want to participate in a joke that takes advantage of the extended character limit (like using ASCII art for example), go for it. There are definitely ways to use this new feature in fun and creative ways. Seeing how brands and users explore this space in the weeks to come will be very interesting.

 

ARE YOU DONE YET?

Almost, I promise. In summation, this change really isn’t that big of a deal. Most people will continue to use Twitter in the same fashion they always have, with the exception of being able to type out the full form of “your” or “you’re” instead of “ur.” While the days of the short-form tweet may be gone for now, Twitter still has a deathgrip on “free speech” and the integrity of the “in the moment” tweet (AKA no editing), so some shades of OG Twitter will continue to live on for a while longer (for better or worse).


I MADE IT THIS FAR, NOW SHOW ME THE JOKES.

Ok.

 

She’s never looked more beautiful. *wipes tear*

 

RIP @jack

 

I still haven’t read one tbh.

 

Proof that the 280 isn’t necessary.

 

Honestly this would have worked, too.

 

The new feature opened up a lot of conversation about the harassment and abuse issue that Twitter has historically done a poor job of addressing.

 

Utilizing all 280 characters to call out Twitter on their bs.

 

TBT to this tweet from last year that addresses Twitter’s tendency to dodge hard questions and instead give users features they don’t really want or need.

 

Ok sorry back to the jokes. ASCII art has made a strong comeback with this update.

 

The possibilities are endless.

 

Our thoughts are with the creators of the Notes app as they deal with the inevitable Wholebrity migration to Twitter for all their unfortunate public announcements.

 

Finally there’s enough room to write out Dany’s full name.

 

Copypasta now has a new home on Twitter.

 

And text chains! I love this Twitter account btw. She has some A+++ content, let me tell you.

 

Looking at you, Cousin Oliver.

 

*lowers glasses*
*winks*
#ad #spon

 

And finally… An ode to Brian Cross.

 

(•_•)
<) )╯ THANKS / \ \(•_•) ( (> FOR
/ \

(•_•)
<) )> READING
/ \

 

 

Peter Panda

Pioneering social media panda bear Tagawa “Peter” Panda was born on a Chinese game reserve in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 speaking no English, with only the fur on his back and $97 stored in a Jansport fanny-pack wrapped around his waist.

In 2003 while searching for food on the campus of Washington University, he discovered a computer lab where he would ultimately teach himself web development, graphic design, and immerse himself into the growing digital media evolution that was erupting at the time.

With his trademark surly demeanor developed during beatings on his boat ride from China to the U.S., as well as having a penchant for eating vast quantities of bamboo, and enjoying Scotch and cigars, Peter is broadly recognized for coining the phrase “social media” in 2004. He joined Elasticity in late 2009 as the agency’s director of social media strategy and wildlife relations. Friend him on Facebook here.

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