10,000 BC – Before Characters – What’s the deal with Beyond 140?

Twitter Is Changing… Or At Least That Is The Word On The News Feed

It would be easy enough to type the introduction to a blog regarding Twitter in 140 characters or less. This, for example, is precisely 140.

Yet if one were to use the rumored 10,000 characters to write a blog, we would both be here for longer than we would like. You would sleep, I would get finger ache, it would just be a traumatic experience for everyone involved. So what the deuce are the boffins at Twitter HQ playing at?!

This is unlikely to be the first time you are hearing about this; but for the fun of it, let’s briefly breakdown what we are referring too. The rumour began during last year (including articles discussing the potential change), then in January 2016 we were fully introduced to the proposed change and, with it, an onslaught from manic marketers and frustrated Tweeters ensued.

Re/code reported on the new feature which is potentially in the pipeline at Twitter HQ – to increase the Twitter character limit from the short and punchy 140, to a long and dreary 10,000 (known internally as “Beyond 140”)!

Beyond 140. jpg

The response has been… well, not great. Furious uproar from a large majority of the 307 million active users! As Kurt Wagner reports for Re/code: “The 140-character limit has been around as long as Twitter has; it’s part of the product’s personality”. Removing this 140 character limit, in the view of many, will make the Social Network no different from arch rival Facebook. Twitter’s lure is for short, creative, innovative and informative streams of content; increasing the character limit is a scary change and removes their USP! It’s somewhat perplexing to understand their thought process…

However, perhaps it is not all doom and social networking gloom. An important point of note is the ‘call to action’ aspect of this change – a ruddy choice! Rumour has it, the 140 character limit on one’s “Home” stream will remain the same, meaning the only way the 10,000 character spill will be accessible is through the user wanting to read more – they have to be active. An ‘expand’ or ‘more information’ engagement is required. So, not much is really changing, is it?

This “product” will have implications across industries, individuals and businesses, with marketers having to seriously reconsider their strategies / campaigns in order to optimally use Beyond 140. The current format (of 140 characters in a Tweet) can still be used to grab attention, requiring careful semantic thought to lure the audience into wanting to know more – “it’s an elegant limit that forces us to truly meditate upon each word we float gently into the global conversation from moment to moment”. Once this has been achieved, the 10,000 characters can be used to really ‘sell’ whatever it is the marketer is looking to market. Imagery is still expected to play a vital role, having been previously used as a luring aspect for a Tweet, gaining the eye of the audience and encouraging them to engage.

Twitter Timeline

From a recruitment perspective, we here at clockworkTalent are regularly frustrated (or at least slightly irritated) by being 10 characters over. We want to tell job seekers / recruiters about the jobs we are advertising and what a great personal & professional service we offer. Job Title, Location and Salary, a Link, and an Image. It’s great, but it doesn’t tell you what the job is really about! This is why the 10,000 character limit could be rather useful for us. Even if we only use an additional 100, it would be nice to have that option. We are always exploring ways to make a job stand out for a job seeker – we would hate for them to miss out on their utopia role, and maybe, just maybe, this is the opportunity to ensure that (on Twitter at least).

Beyond 140 has definitely had a mixed response (mainly negative, we can’t deny that). Yet there are also some positives. For us, we might be able to give a job seeker more details about a role before they click-through to our website. For employers, we can tell them how our expertise, specialism and extensive experience makes us the recruiter they should speak to for all their Digital Marketing job vacancies. The end of Q1 is when Beyond 140 is expected to take place, so keep a keen eye out for its ironic trending.

As always, we would love to get your response of the proposed change. Here’s how you can get in touch with the team… in a digital way! Follow our Social Media and feel free to send us a message on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+!

If you are looking to find that ideal career path in Digital, whether in SEO, PPC, Business Development, Web Design / Development, Social Media, Content… We can help you! Get in touch with the team now to get the recruitment ball rolling: Contact Us

CJ Carver, Digital Marketing Manager

Posted in Blog Posts, Digital Marketing, Recruitment |

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