Twitter Blue users to get 4,000-character tweets, which may further irk advertisers
Paying Twitter subscribers are getting more characters per tweet. To marketers’ dismay, they may soon be seeing fewer ads in their feeds too.
Some tweeters can be more vocal than ever, thanks to a new update rolled out to Twitter Blue subscribers this week / Adobe Stock
In the latest decision in a string of divisive changes to Twitter under Elon Musk’s reign, the platform is rolling out 4,000-character tweets for users subscribed to Twitter Blue.
Twitter also hinted that it will soon debut another highly-anticipated perk to Twitter Blue users: fewer ads in their feeds.
Here are the details.
The updates are only available to Twitter Blue subscribers. Twitter Blue is the opt-in tier that grants any account a coveted blue verification checkmark at $8 or $11 a month depending on whether it’s paid via web or via Apple’s App Store or Google Play. The service promises not only ‘Verified’ status but also perks such as an editing feature and algorithmic preference in user feeds. The rollout of Twitter Blue verification has been rocky, to say the least, gaining user backlash and seeing issues with impersonation that have required the creation of new guardrails (though impersonation is still prevalent, according to recent reports by The Washington Post).
Musk has for months been teasing Twitter Blue benefits beyond verification – including longer tweets. Now it’s coming to fruition: subscribers can now create posts – including in replies and quote retweets – with 3,720 more characters than the previous limit of 280 characters (a limit created in 2017 that already represented an extension of the previous limit of 140 characters).
Twitter teased the update Wednesday with a cheeky tweet featuring the words “more words” in repetition.
more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more words more… https://t.co/0mcFJ1wwZK
— Twitter (@Twitter) February 8, 2023
- Twitter has hinted that Twitter Blue subscribers may also soon enjoy a lower frequency of ads in their timelines. Musk has also previously toyed with the idea of introducing another, more expensive, ad-free subscription tier.
- The expansion of tweet character limits is the latest in a handful of recently debuted perks for Twitter Blue subscribers. Last Friday, the platform said it would begin splitting ad revenue with Twitter Blue-subscribed creators whose content attracts ads in their replies. Plus, in December, subscribers gained the ability to post videos up to 60 minutes in length.
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Why does it matter?
- Some have expressed concerns that the character limit update could cause confusion, considering that non-subscribers will be able to read longer tweets but will not be able to post them. Further, while Twitter Blue subscribers may now create long posts rather than threads of multiple tweets, non-subscribers will likely continue relying on threads to convey more information.
- Plus, others have pointed out that longer tweets will necessarily create more space between advertisements in user feeds – a potential turnoff for advertisers. It could further ostracize advertisers, who have already fled en masse from the platform over controversial changes and brand safety concerns incited by Musk’s free speech-focused policies and upticks in hate speech on the platform. In November, it was reported that Twitter had lost about half of its top 100 advertisers in less than two months.
Longer tweets means longer gaps between ad units, which means fewer people will see ads, which means ad revenue will decline even further for Twitter. Risky play. — Nate Goldman (@NateGoldman) February 9, 2023
As Musk – who has said he is seeking a successor to take over the role of CEO at Twitter – attempts to take the platform’s business model from an ad-supported revenue model to a paid subscription model, he’s seen more than his fair share of trouble, with exoduses of employees, users and advertisers adding to the pain.
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