Why Twitter’s character limit increase is good news for PR consultants

Twitter’s shares took a tumble on Tuesday with the announcement that tweet character limits might jump from 140 to a massive 10,000 characters.

What will this look like? Re/Code reported that your feed will essentially remain the same on the surface. Longer tweets will display as normal – in 140 characters – and then, if someone is interested enough, there’ll be functionality to click and reveal the full content.

Critics have slammed the move, saying the expanded character limit takes away from Twitter’s simple elegance. Regardless of what you think of the announcement, the reality is that Twitter will still remain an important news channel.

When the expanded character limit is introduced, what should PR professionals be aware of and how should they best use the expanded space?

Simplify access to your message

Before, regardless of whether your tweet was punchy enough to grab the attention of browsers wanting to know more, you had to rely on them clicking on a link which took them outside Twitter. Now, your headline becomes your 140-character tweet and your press release/alert/blog post can easily be displayed underneath – all without the user having the leave Twitter.

Articulate yourself

As content makers, we are used to consolidating our message to create maximum impact with minimum perceived effort. What I mean, of course, is that while we might spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over a few paragraphs, the end product won’t (or shouldn’t) look like it. Our aim is usually pretty simple: spark interest, consideration and action.

Twitter has been good for helping us develop our cut-to-the-chase skills but it doesn’t exactly allow for much more. How can we truly get across a brand’s proposition in a short tweet? Obviously we don’t need to wax lyrical every time, but trying to cram an amazing story into 140 characters feels a bit… hollow. Having more space to creatively build a fuller brand story around that cool new initiative or product isn’t a bad thing.

Increased engagement

Earlier last year Twitter removed the 140-character limit from Direct Messages. Do you even know how much easier this has made it for me to complain about my crappy sandwich or bad train journey? Lots.

In all seriousness though, the 140-character DM limit used to frustrate me so much as a community manager. How can you genuinely respond to a complaint or engage in a broader conversation with a client or a member of the public? I resented having to condense my replies, fearing that the brand was coming across as unsympathetic and definitely not that interested.

The increased DM character space has allowed brands to build more genuine relationships with their followers privately. Having the ability to publicly clarify concerns or provide a more in-depth explanation to a question has the two-fold effect of both increased brand awareness and brand trust amongst followers.

Your blog away from your blog

Twitter is used a lot by brands’ bloggers to help drive traffic to their website. These brands use pictures and snappy headlines to help achieve those elusive click-throughs. Now brands and individual bloggers can host a proper preview of their full post within Twitter. If browsers like the excerpt, they’re likely to click through to the blog anyway to read the rest of your post and/or to see what else you have to say.

Fast access

Quite simply, this ups the chances of more of your content being seen by more of the right people.

By Lydia Lobb


What do you think of the proposed character limit increase? Do you think it’s a good or a bad thing for companies and their PR teams?


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Why Twitter’s character limit increase is good news for PR consultants

We are content. We are Clarity

The journey of Clarity PR over the past (nearly) four years has been a challenging one, mirroring the ups and downs of many of the tech startups that we cut our collective teeth working with.

However, we’ve emerged stronger than ever, with a very talented team of creative, dedicated and inspired individuals, and we’re continuing to grow. While our growth is another story, here’s a related tale – that of Clarity branching out from what has been our traditional service offering to date.

We’ve always looked to hire people who have worked in the media at Clarity PR – reporters, editors, producers and the like from newspapers, magazines, online and broadcast – for the unparalleled expertise they bring in knowing what makes a story and how journalists work. However, for those journalists used to writing thousands of words of copy a day, it can be a bit of a change and that’s why some – and I include myself in this – find the appeal of going back to their roots very strong.

But just because we like to write, doesn’t mean we should turn our attention away from our core business. We won’t be, but we are setting up a new division within the company that will focus on content creation, for both existing and new clients.

What do we mean by content? Well, anything and everything including white papers, scholarly articles, packages of blogposts, award entries, in-depth reports on industry events, copywriting for websites and internal communications documents, infographics and videos. We’ll also be using various channels to amplify this content on behalf of our clients. And, of course, putting together comprehensive content strategies that really meets our clients’ needs.

Companies are increasingly recognising the benefits that a strong, authoritative and dynamic bank of content will bring to their business. It positions them as a thought leader, sparks debate within their industry sector, increases the potential for engagement between client and customer, provides lead generation and improves their SEO.

But equally, they face challenges if they wish to do this – it’s rare to find a company that has the in-house skills to do this, or the budget to hire someone with the appropriate experience. Happily, creating a compelling content strategy and generating top-notch content is something that Clarity can now help you with.

Have any questions about Clarity’s content services? Please drop me a line on [email protected].

Ben Camm-Jones


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We are content. We are Clarity