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Topics: #Twitter280, Social Media, marketing

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Our beloved Bluebird of Brevity has made the boggling flutter from 140 characters to 280, and marketers are all a-twitter about it  whether it will boost or belittle their promotional activities.

Fear not, the prognosis is good – although it's too soon to tell for sure.

5dfae8d512b21a734ff414f72fd75a83--twitter-icon-ior.jpgBlogs, tests and stats
Twitter blogs claim that this newfound bounty strengthens communication. Thinking outside the birdbox, this should optimise the power and reach of marketers and brands.

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A deciding factor in their decision is that Japanese, Chinese and Korean Tweeters require fewer characters than their European counterparts. Here’s their graph to prove it:
Japanese-vs-English-tweets--550x343.png“We see that a small percent of Tweets sent in Japanese have 140 characters (only 0.4%). But in English, a much higher percentage of Tweets have 140 characters (9%). Most Japanese Tweets are 15 characters while most English Tweets are 34. Our research shows us that the character limit is a major cause of frustration for people Tweeting in English, but it is not for those Tweeting in Japanese.”

Twitter is convinced that this luxurious surfeit will make more people tweet – more often. Some of us have our doubts – those who think brevity is a Good Thing, that it enhances clarity (and it does); those that fear Twitter will morph from microblog to maxiblah; become like other social media platforms.

5dfae8d512b21a734ff414f72fd75a83--twitter-icon-ior.jpgThe Upside...

5dfae8d512b21a734ff414f72fd75a83--twitter-icon-ior.jpgSmarter and faster
The new 280-character limit has been tested by Twitter since September this year. The test group found it spent less time composing Tweets. Why? Because we all know how challenging/frustrating it can be to convey a concept/share news in 140 characters. Time can be wasted tweaking the update to within an inch of its life, i.e. with more characters to play with, tweak-time is reduced.

5dfae8d512b21a734ff414f72fd75a83--twitter-icon-ior.jpgIncreased social engagement
If doubled characters encourage people to spend more time on Twitter, to tweet more (and the tests prove this), it also increases engagement – likes/retweets, @mentions/more followers. This is good news for brands with elevated exposure and engagement with Twitter’s 330 million active users per month.

5dfae8d512b21a734ff414f72fd75a83--twitter-icon-ior.jpgGreater authority and status
You can now elaborate on your offer, respond more quickly and thoroughly, optimise customer satisfaction. It’s still only 280 characters, guys – it’s still a microblog. It still delivers easy to understand information. Remember: you don’t have to use all the characters. Concision + Clarity = Class. And, heaven, forbid, grammar might resume its throne. Hmm, we’ll take a rain check on that one.

5dfae8d512b21a734ff414f72fd75a83--twitter-icon-ior.jpgDoubting Thomases
Yes, you guessed, Twitter’s new format has its detractors, some of them among the literati:

J.K. Rowling isn’t impressed…
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Stephen King isn’t impressed…

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And this person (General Partner at Google Ventures) makes a very strong argument against…
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Not sure how #Twitter280 will benefit your marketing activities? Contact bandv for further insight, ideas and advice on its potential leverage. Tweet here...

#Twitter280: bandv will make it work for you