If you spend much time on t’internet you’ve probably noticed the recent news that Twitter are trialling big, fat, half-pounder tweets for some users. That’s right, they’re doubling down, going large and offering up 280 characters for people to chow down on and if it goes well, they’ll roll this bounty out to everyone.
It’s no secret that the platform has been having a rough time of it over the last few years, losing ground and staggering amounts of revenue to Grandma Facebook and its stylish live-in lover Instagram. It’s been doing what any business does when it sees the competition heading off into the distance – taking a long, hard look at itself and trying to work out why its customers are going elsewhere. There was a well-substantiated rumour going around last year that Twitter were considering massive, almost sickeningly long, 5000- or 10000-character monster-tweets to allow users as much space as they wanted to express themselves. Luckily for all of us, this didn’t come to pass. It had already been invented and is called Facebook Notes. Facebook what? Yeah, exactly.
So it’s good that they reigned in the worst excesses in their bid to woo more users and customers into the fold, but what does this test mean for the average restaurant social media professional? Nothing until it rolls out of course, but if we do all get 280 characters to play with, what will be done with them? For anyone who’s ever struggled to get all of an offer or menu description into the harsh and unforgiving format it might seem like a blessing but it also goes against exactly what Twitter is supposed to be about – brevity.
Another thing to consider is that if you take twice the time to write that nice big juicy tweet, laden with special sauce and goodness, does that mean twice as many people will see it? Probably not. In fact, perhaps half as many people will. In fact, a big part of Twitter’s problem is that no-one sees your tweets anyway because there are simply too many out there and the average Twitter user only logs on for a minute a day! You can read a lot more about this in a nice article here, but make sure you read to the end or you might be tempted to quit the platform all together. All we’re saying is that if tweets are twice as long, take up twice as much screen real-estate with their words (yes, pictures take up more, we know, but it’s still going to represent about an inch of the average mobile screen) meaning that minute is going to give you even less chance for your beautifully-crafted update to be seen by your audience.
It’s not all doom and gloom though – with more but still limited space, maybe a new wave of creative writing will spread across the platform, sweeping away all the shifty porn-bots, political-extremist bots, racist trolls and coupon-chasers! Maybe it will usher in a new golden age for restaurant social media, one where the menu can be described in full, fine wines given their full provenance and waiters with names like Sterepoulopopolis can have their employee of the month status properly explained. Or, it could keep things pretty much the same. Only time will tell…
This article was penned by our Content Director, who is actually a lot more excited by the chance to write twice as much than he lets on.