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If you’re a social media addict, you’ll have heard the latest news on the Twittersphere that the platform formally associated with keeping things short and sweet in terms of how its users can communicate and express themselves is changing that slightly.

As of September 19th, certain limitations to the character count for tweets have been lifted. Media attachments (such as images, gifs and videos), polls and reply mentions no longer contribute to the 140 character limit. Whilst this might not seem like an earth-moving shift, it’s a surprisingly significant upgrade that will have a strong affect on its audience.

So if Twitter is one of your main social media channels you focus on in your brand (like most others out there) how will this affect you?

Users now have more space to express themselves

Consumers are looking for more platforms to communicate with their peers (both friends/family and in a professional sense) and the brands that play important roles in their lives. Even this seemingly small update means that users have potentially a whole new sentence to play with, and nods to the trend of putting the consumer firmly in the driver’s seat.

Quoted tweets are also not capped, enhancing consumer/brand engagement

A big way of utilising this change to up your engagement rates is that quotes of tweets are no longer capped either, enabling you to start discussions with just one tweet, for followers to quote and have their say on, without having to worry so much about the character count. This is huge in terms of asking your followers for insights on the things you tweet, and you can easily measure their responses. This is also really handy for blogger collaborations, as bloggers you work with will now be able to quote your tweets that mention them, and will be able to put their own stamp on the mention, rather than simply retweeting it.

This is a shift towards long form content

Whilst it might seem like a bit of a stretch to call a slight lift on character limitations a shift towards long form content, when you delve a little deeper, you’ll see that this is all just part of a wider trend emerging. The most successful content out there currently caps at 1200 words, meaning blog posts and articles have never been more relevant and important. Although Twitter has famously considered scrapping its character count altogether (which it later decided against) there’s no denying the channel is accepting that these limitations might not be quite as popular as they once were.