A Trump-free Twitter rant: and how brevity improves writing
This week, Twitter tumbled from the top of the tree – for me, at least.
Yesterday (8 November 2017) the social network announced that its trial of a 280-character tweet limit – double the previous 140-character count – will be universally expanded.
According to Twitter’s Product Manager, Aliza Rosen, this is why they did it:
The platform’s user numbers had been steadily dropping, and they needed to do something to reignite the love for the network – an edit button, perhaps? – but not that!
Anything but that.
By doubling the character count they’ve removed their greatest USP. Without the limit, they may as well be Facebook.
Brevity was the one thing Twitter had that no other social network offered. And it was better for it. You could scroll through your timeline and efficiently extract chunklets* of insight, bite-sized news updates, thought-provoking quotes and interesting soundbites.
There isn’t a writer out there who doesn’t benefit from the discipline of the old-school – I can call it that, right? – Twitter mentality.
Make every word count
When competition for readers’ attention is fierce, tight word counts keep our writing lean.
Get in the habit of cutting the fluff and stuffing from your writing, and your message will benefit.
Lose the jargon and meaningless filler words** and your writing will be punchier, pacier and easier to read.
If there’s one thing we can learn from pre-280 Twitter, it’s that.
*Yes, I made that one up. Deal with it.
**Words such as THAT, JUST, REALLY and VERY rarely add to your writing. Edit fearlessly.