One of selling points for Twitter for consumers, is also its greatest disadvantage for marketers. Twitter's character limit is a double edged sword, making it possible for everyone to share quick thoughts with anyone, but making it impossible to convey a complex idea in 140 characters.
Many businesses have found ways to surmount that challenge and create Twitter campaigns that increase public perception and revenue. According to a recent report, 72 percent of consumers who follow brands on Twitter are more likely to purchase products from them in the future. But a recent report from Re/Code suggests that Twitter may be planning to expand its character limit in the near future.
The reporting from Re/Code cited multiple sources who said that Twitter may be planning to increase the character limit to 10,000 characters during the first quarter of 2016. This report was given credence by the lengthy defense of the idea of expanding the character limits, following the predictable backlash of Twitter users when they heard about the possible change.
The irony is that in order to Tweet is response, which was obviously longer than 140 characters, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had to create an image with the text he wanted people to read. It illustrates all the reasons why Twitter should find a way to expand the length of Tweets, without sacrificing the feel of Twitter.
There are many things that can not be explained in 140 character. A cynical person might argue that most things can't be adequately talked about in such a brief manner. It makes Twitter a difficult to use platform for marketers who need to talk to their audience and not just pump out quick slogans and product images.
More often than not, social media marketers who use Twitter are using the platform as a way to direct people to more substantial content. Allowing for longer content on Twitter could potentially change that. This would encourage more marketers to post content on Twitter like they would on Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest.
Another reason marketers should be happy about longer character limits is that it increases the amount of searchable content for each Tweet. Again, Dorsey's Tweet both states and illustrates the problem Twitter has now.
"Instead, what if that text ... was actually text?" Dorsey asked in the image he tweeted." Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That's more utility and power."
If a person knew that Jack Dorsey said something like that in Tweet and wanted to search for it on Google or Twitter, there's no way to search the text embedded in the image. Forcing people to use images to present text longer than 140 characters in a single tweet is a very SEO unfriendly way to run the platform.
Twitter is working hard to increase the utility of the platform for marketers and increase engagement between Twitter users. Allowing people to speak more freely in a SEO friendly manner gives everyone "more utility and power", as Dorsey would say.
Most likely, the new system will display the first 140 characters of a Tweet and allow people to read more in the card below the main portion of the Tweet by clicking the Expand link. This is an area where there already additional comments and replies for people who expand the card, so there really shouldn't be a huge aesthetic change to Twitter.
Despite the claims of some that any change will destroy Twitter. it's unlikely that a small change would do much to hurt Twitter's base user numbers. People can post for how long as they want to now, it would just have to be broken up into several Tweets (but making it impossible to retweet the complete thought). Expanding the character limit to include additional text under the main Tweet simply removes a lot of the annoyance of using Twitter.
Twitter greatly needs to open its platform up to more users and advertisers in order to keep investors happy. Even if changes to the character limit are unpopular with some users, Twitter will have to take the initial backlash in order to see the platform grow in the future.
For more reading on Twitter and other social networks, read this article on what business owners should know and expect from social media marketing.