Tag Archive for: character limit

Was Twitter’s 280 Character Limit Increase Enough to Turn a Profit?

There were many comments and concerns in the wake of Twitter’s most recent update of a doubled character limit. We here at Onimod Global gave our two cents on the update in our article, “Twitter Launches New 280 Character Limit: Good or Bad Move?

But the real question is, was it enough to make the platform profitable? The answers can be found in the latest quarterly report from Twitter.

Bad Reactions

As to be expected, no one really liked the switch from 140 characters to 280. One article from Adweek shared the opinions of many disgruntled users like Lou Paskalis who said, “This will pretty much end Twitter if instituted. Really really bad idea!”

Opposition like Lou’s was very common around the Twitter-sphere and beyond. Selena Larson of CNN Tech expressed her disagreement in her article “More is less: The case against 280 character tweets”.

Larson highlighted the thoughts of users and how many feel that the 140 limit actually helped make them more concise and creative. Haught Tromp agreed with this logic by saying, “It can be intellectually challenging but creatively stimulating to fit words in a confined space.”

New Quarterly Report

The much anticipated Q3 report from Twitter has finally been released. Many were waiting upon this report to see if the increased character limit would be enough to give Twitter the positive results the platform was looking for in its bottom line.

Well, the results are in. An article from techcrunch.com summarized Twitter’s quarterly report. At a glance, it appears that Twitter has outdone itself.

Originally, the company projected revenues of $586.73 million but actually reported revenues of $590 million. Although this is an improvement from the previous quarter, the $590 million is still 4% lower than they were in Q3 of last year.

In addition to these quarterly statistics, Twitter also shared some bad news about their monthly active users.

They released the following statement about the MAU issue: “We discovered that since the fourth quarter of 2014 we had included users of certain third-party applications as Twitter MAUs that should not have been considered MAUs,” Twitter noted. “These third-party applications used Digits, a software development kit of our now-divested Fabric platform, that allowed third-party applications to send authentication messages via SMS through our systems, which did not relate to activity on the Twitter platform. The table below presents the impact for the periods beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016. Due to our data retention policies, we do not have data to reconcile periods prior to the fourth quarter of 2016, but our estimates suggest the prior period adjustments are smaller than those in the fourth quarter of 2016.”


Many Twitter staff members had hoped for the platform to see an increase in engagement from users with their new 280 character limit. Now that the data has been gathered and finalized, we can see its true results.

Although Twitter was able to temporarily increase their engagement rates and revenues, there are still huge problems on the horizon for the social media platform that we will come to see in future months.

Twitter Launches New 280 Character Limit: Good or Bad Move?

Twitter has recently announced that a character limit change is official – tweets can now contain up to 280 characters, but not for every user yet. It’s an interesting and risky move, as the 140 character limit is what Twitter has always been known for and is a major way they differentiate themselves from their social media competitors. According to an article from Market Land, this would mark the “biggest change to Twitter since its founding in 2006 and the biggest risk yet by the company to increase its user base.” This post will explore the potential benefits and disadvantages that could come along with an increased character limit.

Potential Benefits:
Introducing a doubled character limit (280 compared to 140) has the potential be a beneficial move for Twitter moving forward. One possible benefit of a larger character limit is that it would allow users to “better express themselves,” according to the Marketing Land article. This is a legitimate reason as a restricted character limit has forced users to limit what they’re trying to say. A 280 limit would also decrease the “loopholes” of tweeting such as screenshots of longer text and the annoying threads that appear on timelines. Another important point to mention is the increased opportunity this presents for Twitter’s advertising platform. An expanded character limit gives advertisers an opportunity to create more appealing ads, and as a result this could lead to more ad revenue for Twitter in the long run.

The Marketing Land article also quotes Aliza Rosen (Twitter’s Product Manager) stating that “Twitter is hoping fewer tweets run into the character limit, which should make it easier for everyone to tweet.” Ultimately, Twitter’s overall goal of increasing the character limit appears to be focused on making it easier for everyone to tweet and reducing the frustrations that come along with character limits.

Potential Drawbacks:
Based on all of the potential benefits above, the expanded 280 character limit seems like a brilliant idea. However, there could be some possible drawbacks of having larger character limits. A clear negative of moving away from the 140 characters is that Twitter would now be steering away from their core idea that has differentiated themselves from other social media competition. The article states that Twitter’s original thought behind the 140 character limit was “replicating the length of a text message would make the social network more inviting to people to post thoughts on the fly from their phones.”

Another disadvantage that could come along with expanding the character limit is an increase in spam. There would be nothing worse then scrolling through a timeline of spam accounts or reading 280 character tweets from irrelevant sources. In the end, it will be very interesting to see what happens with Twitter’s new 280 character limit moving forward. Based on outside research and analysis, it appears to us that the potential benefits of an increased character limit would outweigh the possible disadvantages.

Contact Us:
For more information regarding digital marketing expertise, visit the Onimod Global Website. We provide weekly news updates on the latest in the world of digital marketing. Enjoy!