Twitter is known for its 140-character limit. That’s its shtick, and has been since the company started in 2006. However, your struggle to cram a message, a link and a few hashtags into that itty-bitty space could change. Twitter is working on a new product that will allow you to publish long-form content, according to ReCode.
Twitter isn’t commenting yet, but marketers are speculating about this new service. We asked several marketers what this new service could look like, and what it means for users and Twitter itself.
What will Twitter’s new long-form feature look like?
The feature could allow users to publish a full article on Twitter. Followers would see a standard 140-character tweet in their feed, but have the option to click on it and read the entire story without leaving the platform.
If this is the case, Twitter is following in the footsteps of the “granddaddy of social media,” Facebook. Facebook now offers Instant Articles. Fans can click on an article and read it immediately without going to a blog or company website.
What could this feature mean for marketers?
Long-form content has value. More and more consumers want in-depth articles, rather than quick snippets of information that lack details, Eric Dahan, CEO of InstaBrand says. He believes the change could provide these three opportunities for marketers:
• The ability to create more in-depth brand stories and more explanatory product descriptions.
• Without a 140-character limit, brands can insert more links to drive traffic to their destination pages.
• More hashtags can be added so a new audience can discover content and the company behind it.
Will the change revive Twitter?
While the long-form feature is still in its infant stages, some marketers say this move is necessary for Twitter to survive.
The company is dealing with low moral and dropping stock prices. New platforms like Snapchat are constantly evolving and taking a bite out of the social media audience. Plus, Twitter’s growth rate is dwindling, and has been for about a year. IZEA CEO, Ted Murphy, commented on Twitter’s challenges on Fox Business earlier this year.
Leeyen Rogers, VP of marketing at JotForm, is exited about the change and believes it will benefit users.
“The majority of people on Twitter are coming from mobile, and if a user doesn’t have to leave the platform and wait for an article to load, it will allow marketers to reach more people,” she says. “I think it will increase conversion rates and help companies connect with people on Twitter.”
However, Tina Chan, a social media manager at Great Eastern Energy, says it’s a change that could backfire.
“The appeal of Twitter has always been the stream of consciousness style that captures public opinion in snapshots and delivers news instantaneously,” she says. “A change like this could alienate its user base.”
Richard Kelleher, a marketing sociologist, agrees saying the change won’t help Twitter at all.
“I think Twitter is headed for extinction,” he says. “I call it the second decade MySpace.”
What do you think about Twitter’s move toward long-form content? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.