The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Twitter’s 280 Characters

Twitter has been throwing around the idea of stretching tweet to 280 characters. What would happen in the world of marketing and beyond if Twitter doubles down?

Twitter has been looking for strategies to increase user base from the 68 million slump hit this summer. The bottom line is Twitter needs more tweeters and is looking at all available options to plump up their bottom line. The latest idea is extending tweets from 140 characters to 280. But what does this mean for the existing user base, both personal and professional?

[bctt tweet=”Pros and cons of proposed Twitter changes” username=”@supposeiam”]

Pros of 280

More Users

If Twitter’s plan works and more users flock to the platform, then this means more people to chat, follow and attract to your profile. According to Forbes, “This is good news for marketers, because more users means more followers – and more followers means more potential customers. Furthermore, having more followers will result in more people seeing and sharing your content.”


Forbes reports that “Twitter is already extremely widespread; in fact, 83% of the 193 UN member countries have a Twitter presence.” The platform has been a way to connect to others around the globe since it was established. More users and more space to communicate equates to additional accessibility to individuals that otherwise may not be connected.

Ad Space

For marketers, ad space is the end all be all of digital content. With more room to share your brand’s message, you can tweet until your you have dominated every industry. Twice the space is twice the message and twice the earning potential. Marketers know that sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough, but this new development could really change the way we tweet. Forbes says, “For all we know, having the extra space is going to facilitate the next greatest slogan or ad that has everyone talking – which is exactly what marketers want.”

Cons of 280


In the same way that extra users can be a perk, it can also be a distraction. Users and marketers alike can become victim to extreme population fluctuations. Too many users means more spam, more empty accounts and more abuse. Many Twitter users have spoken out that Twitter has now gotten twice as bad. Vox recently wrote, “A large segment of those protesting the change see it as a diversion from more essential improvements to Twitter, like bettering its harassment reporting tools, killing the platform’s giant bot networks, taking an unequivocal stance against hate speech, and banning the Nazis, a phrase that has become all but rote across the site.”

Unique Selling Point

We need to remember, incase Twitter forgot, that the 140 character limit is their USP. Removing this feature kind of makes Twitter just like any other social media platform. Users may start to wonder “What’s the point?” and stick to other, more populated social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Lin Manuel Miranda was asked what he would do with the extra space. He replied in a tweet, “Probly quit twitter, honestly. Ya don’t add syllables to the haiku, or limerick, or sestina. The fun is what you can do within the form.”

Missing the Boat Altogether

Many Twitter users are simply fed up with their requests being ignored. Platform users have been calling for years to the company to figure out a way to banish bots, control hating trolls and delete inactive accounts. In a space where followers is everything, these requests are considered to be the real priority – not longer tweets. The LA Times reported, “Twitter users had requested less trolling. They had pleaded for no bots. They had begged for fewer Nazis. Instead, we got tweet weight gain — surplus characters no one asked for.”

Vivienne Neale said: ‘I think the basic problem is that anyone new to Twitter struggles to gain traction. That is the biggest issue. But advocates love the platform and those of us that have been there for years just get it and feel very comfortable! If you want breaking news Twitter IS the place to be. In terms of local business it gives you access to people you wouldn’t normally rub shoulders with. However, if Twitter isn’t attracting new users then it’s doomed I guess so has to reinvent itself. However, personally I think the opportunities for conversation are vast. We don’t need more characters. I’m just frustrated by the potential change, not because I don’t like evolution but it’s the discipline that makes Twitter different from everything else. You have to craft your tweets. That’s why companies use VKN Digital’s tweet writing service so often; it’s a skill.”

How do you feel about longer tweets? Let us know in the comments!

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