What Twitter's Recent Changes Mean For You

While Facebook is the LeBron James of social media, Twitter is doing its best Dirk impression and doing all it can to stay competitive and relevant.

Twitter dominates during games and events. It’s a gamechanger on gameday and a great way for all your station’s talent to engage followers on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during football season…and beyond. ShareRocket’s Chris Kraft confirmed what I suspected “Twitter is still the king for ‘live tweeting’ and live updates during a game”.

Twitter announced these changes in May but they recently went live to reduce the 140-character limit in certain scenarios. From Twitter’s blog:

  • Replies: When replying to a Tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group.
  • Media attachments: When you add attachments like photos, GIFs, videos, polls, or Quote Tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your Tweet. More room for words!
  • Retweet and Quote Tweet yourself: We’ll be enabling the Retweet button on your own Tweets, so you can easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new reflection or feel like a really good one went unnoticed.
  • Goodbye, .@ These changes will help simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username will reach all your followers. (That means you’ll no longer have to use the ".@ convention" which people currently use to broadcast Tweets broadly.) If you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to Retweet it to signal that you intend for it to be viewed more broadly.

So what does this mean we can do? A lot:

  1. Add more context in replies. @TheGinaMiller, for example, will no longer count against character limit, neither will a GIF or short video.
  2. Leverage visual attachments better. Tweet pics, images and video. The engagement levels are higher.
  3. Retweet yourself. It’s fun to #HumbleBrag your own tweets when you correctly predict the score of a game (trust me), winner of an Emmy award or reality show.

Want to discuss this further and really leverage Twitter in your newsroom? Contact your SmithGeiger consultant today for a strategy session.