Twitter to increase character limit ‘next week’

According to reports, Twitter’s long-awaited character limit increase will finally be introduced next week.

What is changing?

In response to user feedback, Twitter has changed its character count. This means that:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Gifs
  • Quoted tweets

Will no longer count towards the 140 character limit. They currently take up 24 of the characters available.

Plus, when you reply to a tweet, @names will be left out of the character count.

The change was announced in May (as Perivan Solutions covered in this blog at the time) and has been eagerly awaited since then.

Character limits even more taxing in a regulated environment

Twitter’s character limit of a 140-character count are even more frustrating for marketers in regulated firms.

Social media is viewed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)  as a ‘non-real time’ financial promotion. Tweets, linkedin posts, facebook statuses, Pinterest or Instagram posts therefore have to adhere to the regulator’s strict rules.

Engaging content is the key to a successful social strategy

Since Twitter introduced its algorithmic feed earlier this year, this has become even more crucial, as users see more of the content they are interested in. So you need to be delivering genuinely interesting and valuable updates.

What makes this harder for regulated marketers?

Any promotional tweet by an FCA-regulated firm needs to include an appropriate risk warning. This reduces the room you have to describe your content – so it’s even more important to make the most of every character.

If you can get some of your message across in an image – an infographic, maybe all the better.

Encapsulate what you want to convey visually and you can use the words in your tweet to meet the regulator’s requirements by including an appropriate risk warning or disclaimer.

The character limit increase looks like good news for all marketers. If you work in financial services or other highly-regulated industries, it’s particularly welcome. Fingers crossed it actually does launch next week!

The FCA’s policy on social media covers:

  • The FCA’s definition of social media
  • Risk warnings
  • The regulator’s view on hashtags
  • Clarity on sharing content
  • Understanding the need for record-keeping
  • Is social media the best option?

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