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Looks like the social media heavens have finally heard our prayers. Twitter is making a major shift in how it counts characters in tweets, giving us more freedom to post longer messages.

Posting a photo and shortened link leaves you with 93 characters to play with. The combination of hashtags and emojis doesn’t give brands much room to get their message across.

Video is the new text

This week’s news may seem like a drop in the social media ocean, but it’s a great example of how social channels are opening its doors to visual content. Channels such as Twitter and Instagram are paving the way with their GIF library and logo update.

With 47 extra characters at our disposal, brands can share key messages in quick, visual and exciting new ways. Research shows that the human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 (the mobile revolution) to just eight seconds. We now have shorter attention spans than a goldfish!

A trip down memory lane

Twitter continues to look for new ways to make tweets bigger and richer without defeating its purpose. The character count was originally devised as a way of fitting tweets into the SMS limit in 2006.

CEO Jack Dorsey wrote in January this year:

“We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it.”

“Instead, what if that text…was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power”

Twitter has not yet released an official statement but our fingers are crossed for the next couple of weeks.

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