This week Twitter announced a trial to extend its 140 character limit up to 10,000 in order to boost its SEO and keep users on the site.
We don’t think that this is a good idea and we’re not the only ones. The company’s share price dipped by more than 2% as a result of the announcement this week and caused the usual tweetstorm.
We’re all for innovation and testing in the social media realm, but keeping Twitter’s limit at 140 characters is a good thing as it trains users to focus on the actual message, rather than lots of superfluous waffle.
As PR experts we write short and snappy, engaging headlines, subject headers and introductions to make sure they catch the eyes of very busy journalists and our direct audiences. Our calls to action can be varied even within a tight word count: whether it is to read the press release and report on it, to encourage people to watch a film and click through to our customer’s website for more information, or to engage on social media.
More and more journalists and bloggers use Twitter to find stories, as it provides lots of information offered via short Tweets with links if further information is required – just the sort of pitch that appeals to time-starved reporters.
We think that the brevity of Twitter is also its USP and in a tough social climate this latest experiment could be a big mistake – let’s see if there is a U Turn in the coming weeks.