Twitter Drops Direct Message 140 Character Limit
If you’re engaged in marketing online then there’s a very high probability you’re using Twitter. Whether you’re glued to your feed 24/7 or only browse occasionally you’ll know that Twitter has an interesting limitation – the 140 character limit.
Twitter was originally a ‘micro-blogging’ site. Users made very short to the point updates keeping followers and the world up to date on what’s happening.
The Direct Messaging feature allows users to tweet each other privately. This feature was expanded this year to allow for the option of non followers to ‘DM’ each other. Until Aug 2015 this feature was also limited to the 140 character limit.
The limit of 140 characters has been a staple of the service since it’s inception. This limit was originally in place to ensure compatibility with SMS text messaging services that employed a 140 character limit protocol. Twitter was originally designed to be updated directly from SMS messages.
These days the 140 character limit is more of a creative choice and unique feature of Twitter rather than a technical limitation.
As direct messages are not visible publicly there is really no need for these to conform to the 140 character limit anymore, especially as other social networks like Facebook have fully featured direct messaging services.
The limited space in a tweet did bring rise to some interesting developments in internet navigation. URL shorteners can thank their existence to the 140 character limit. With limited space, long urls, especially those for specific content like blog posts had to shortened to fit into a tweet along with comment from the user.
Keep it Short and Sweet
The 140 character limit on Twitter means that you have to be short and sweet to avoid splitting your message up over multiple tweets and your message getting muddled.
This limit has actually become an advantageous tool in marketing. Forcing marketeers to shorten pitches and content makes marketing messages more compatible with people’s dropping attention spans. A study by Microsoft found that attention spans online have dropped to 8 seconds. Enough time to take in a tweet or two but not much more.
Shorter the Better
Dropping attention spans also has a knock on effect for other content online including your video content. There will always be a place for long form video like events videos and education materials but these generally attract people who already have an interest in the content.
To catch someone’s attention with a promotion video, the content needs to be short and crafted. As a rule of thumb a web video shouldn’t be longer than 3 minutes while 90 seconds is good target. A 10 minute expose of your new product is unlikely to attract many views.
Finding ways to fit you message into a short and effective piece can be difficult without help.
Workshop Media have years of experience in creating effective Web Videos for clients across a wide range of industries. Whatever your message Workshop Media can create web video content that effectively communicates you message whilst keeping short and sweet.
Interested or have questions on any aspect of Video Marketing? We’re always happy to help and advise, get in touch to arrange a chat.