I learned last night that Twitter will soon completely change its identity. I am not talking a logo makeover though, I am referring instead to a move that will completely transform the service.
Very soon, perhaps by the end of the month, Twitter will increase its tweet limit from 140 characters to 10,000 characters. So much for micro blogging, right?
I admit that when I first heard about the impending change I was shocked. I never really considered Twitter going away from 140 characters, let alone increasing it by over 70X. But when you are a social media professional you can’t stay shocked for long. You also can’t feel bitter or angry. Change is a constant in the social media world and people like me must embrace it.
So while I am pumping myself up for the major move I have a couple questions in the back of my head: What exactly will the new Twitter look like? How do I want to use the new capabilities for the Coastal Carolina Twitter account?
The reality is that I won’t know the answer to the two questions above until after the reveal. Of course once the change is made I will immediately know the answer to my first inquiry but it will take more time for the second. I will have to become very familiar with how the new version works, analyze how the longer tweets look on the timeline (both from a desktop and mobile standpoint), and investigate how features such as tagging/retweeting/replying are impacted. Although I will need to step back and digest these changes, I can’t take forever. Twitter users are going to be freaking out when the switch occurs and they will be looking to accounts they know and trust to lead the way in demonstrating how to effectively master the new way to tweet. If I am on my game, Coastal Carolina University will help pave that road.
As I said above, my strategy for the new Twitter will not be completely formulated until the updated version is released. However, I don’t feel like I will be one for using the whole allotment of 10,000 characters for every tweet (if any). General information and updates will still be brief in nature. With the reputation that Twitter has built for almost a decade, I just don’t see users wanting to read what will amount to be a 10K character blog post. Will I ever tweet out a press release in its entirety? Heck no, I think the #CCU account would lose half its followers after a couple times of doing that. I will still summarize and leave a link. I mean let’s be honest here, this new change isn’t revolutionary in the idea that users will now be able to cram more text into a tweet. With the current 140 character version of Twitter, people already post large amounts of text; they just utilize hyperlinks and JPEGs to do it.
I am more interested in finding out if the new version will allow for multiple higher quality photos to be tweeted out at once. I am also curious to see if I will be able to mention our whole incoming freshmen class in a single tweet. Will Twitter also lengthen the character limit for profile bios?
I think the new Twitter will impact other people more than your typical university social media manager. I think sports reporters will love the luxury of sending out more detailed messages when they are live tweeting games. I think comedians who distinguished themselves by typing out hilarious 140 character jokes will lose steam to less Twitter-inclined comedians who now have more space to hit their punchline. Politicians will take advantage of more space to explain their policies and views. Speaking of politicians, Donald Trump’s Twitter insults are already vicious, can you imagine giving him 10,000 characters to really let loose on the people he looks down on?
One thing is for sure, Coastal Carolina University is preparing for and anticipating this big social media development. As for my personal Twitter account, I could definitely use a few extra characters when tweeting out my blog post teasers. Don’t Blink.