On September 19th, the updates Twitter announced early this year are now finally rolling out to the public.
The updates change Twitter’s famous 140 character limit so users can say more per tweet. Now lets not get too crazy here, Twitter is not abandoning their original 140 character vision, but have just made some simple changes to the rules to make the limit more fair.
The update pretty much means that only words that come from the individual account with be considered under the character limit. So now, photos, GIFs, links, username handles, and even quoted tweets won’t count towards the character limit. So regular tweets cannot be longer, but tweets containing these items can be. This allows for more original content to be shared about external media, without allowing users to deviate from the original vision of Twitter.
While I think this is a great update for both individual users and business, I have to ask the larger question: Who cares?
Twitter only has 100 million daily active users compared to Facebook’s over 1 billion daily active users. On top of that take a moment to think about how many people who have Facebook who don’t have a Twitter and how many people on Twitter do have a Facebook. While you’re at it can you even think of how many friends you have who are on Twitter? When was the last time you were asked if you saw what someone said on Twitter (outside of something about Donald Trump)?
Twitter’s experimental live stream of NFL football was declared a hit, but now that the ratings are in we see that is not completely true. CNN reported that “Twitter’s livestream of the game reached 2.1 million people, although many sampled it only briefly. That figure counts anyone who watched the game for at least three seconds”. This deal between NFL and Twitter is supposed to target consumers who want to watch the game but do not have cable. I can see the vision here, and I think it is a great concept for the NFL but I cannot say that I think Twitter is the best avenue for this feature. Twitter’s stock price boosted by about 4% after the stream, but the price is still down more that 17% from last year.
With the downward slope Twitter is taking, and the upward slope that most other social media channels are taking, is it really so bad to wonder why businesses are taking the time to invest in Twitter at all?