With social media at the crux of communication between brands and businesses to their consumers – the growing need to express oneself plays an increasingly important role in maintaining a relationship with those individuals. And, it seems Twitter is adapting to the times as users demand more space for those thoughts to be expressed.

Limiting copy to 140 characters for the past decade – Twitter is changing their beat, without directly impacting their word count. So what’s the change? Here’s the recap along with the trends in social media communication today.

About the Update

Don’t worry – no need to brace yourself for paragraphs of texts appearing in your Twitter feed. Twitter’s short character limit is there for a reason, to express thoughts in brief incremental phrases.

Apparently 140 characters is a sweet spot – as Twitter’s recently announced change doesn’t allow for more characters… well not exactly anyways. Instead, Twitter has created a list of “exceptions” to the rule in which previously “counted” characters no longer count.

On the list:

  • @names in replies: When replying to conversations, the social equivalent of “dear so-and-so” will no longer count against your character count.
  • Attachments: Including images, GIFs, videos and polls, the files attached will no longer count against the character count (which really… why should they since they’re not characters in the first place).

Rumor also has it that link url’s may not be included in the character count, however this was not included in Twitter’s original statement.

Twitter character update
Image Source: https://blog.twitter.com/express-even-more-in-140-characters

Aside from the character count, the lesser-discussed changes coming soon to the Twitter near you is allowing users to quote and retweet themselves and removing the “@” symbol from displaying when tagging users in conversations.

Social Communication

In the era of social communication where 72% of teens “spend time” with friends via social media, interactions on the web have never played a more critical role in human interactions.

And no matter the possibly negative consequences of this trend, there is an upside to every story as well. With the open (borderline invasive) nature of social content, the platforms have opened doors providing confidence to users to share stronger, more personalized viewpoints. Though this can be a bit of a double-edged sword, it’s a unique opportunity for like-minded people to connect and openly discuss issues, which previously may never have been possible.

Social communication in many ways has become the leading modern network of news, events, opinions and relevant content that goes far beyond chatting with old school friends and stalking ex-boyfriend’s photo albums.

Twitter specifically has become a hub for news and updates claiming over 33% of the platforms content usage.

Social Media Communication
Image Source: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/06/teens-technology-and-friendships/

Social Content Changing Our World

In reviewing the affects of social communication it’s important to realize, social media is not only affecting our social lives – it’s changing the world.

While the most immediate affect is that which brands and businesses are capitalizing on – the emotional connection between two individuals (or in this case themselves and their consumers), the lasting affect touches relationships, politics, events, opinions, and so much more.

In fact, there is hardly an uncovered element of our environment that is not in some way affected by social communication.

Organizations can spread awareness and build passion for their causes. Business can influence consumers to purchase products or services. People can interact, communicate and even fall in love with their forever partner. Political opinions and agendas can be spread at a viral rate. It can affect happiness and emotions, ideas, perspectives and provide knowledge and insight on the happenings around the world.

If you’re under the opinion that social media is just for fun – think again. And instead consider, what ways can this web of endless networks be leveraged for the good of your brand or business, and for the bigger picture of our wo­rld, because there’s a lot that you can say to the world in 140 characters.