It is interesting to see the kind of things that are sometimes asked about on an investor conference call with a public company. Twitter has been a public company for a number of years now, but there are still plenty of fascinating questions asked at these meetings. One of the things that investors like to know about is the length and frequency of tweets on the platform.
CEO Jack Dorsey took this question and gave an interesting answer. According to the Verge, the CEO reported that people on the platform are tweeting more frequently, though they are not using more characters to do so.
This fact was a surprise to many who believed that people would surely increase the length of their tweets when given the opportunity. It turns out that this was simply not going to be the case.
The amount of engagement on the site is up. The company reports that more individuals are retweeting each other. They also say that the number of mentions is also up.
Interestingly, the average tweet remains under 50 characters. This is well below the 140 characters that were allowed under the way that Twitter was originally set up. The impact of doubling the amount of characters that a person was allowed to use only served the purpose of helping those whose tweets were near the 140 character limit in the first place. For those individuals, it was a nice feature to be allowed to tweet double the amount that they used to be able to. The rest of the Twitter universe did not feel as much of an impact.
The company still believes that expanding to 280 characters was the right move for them. They say that it has not necessarily meant that they have gained new users (their number of US users dipped slightly last quarter), but they do believe it has helped them keep some people around who might have gone away otherwise. They say that the new limit helps to eliminate some of the confusion about their platform in general. It has helped more people understand what they are all about.
For the time being it seems incredibly likely that Twitter will keep the limit at what it is now. It has worked well enough for them that they have been able to turn a profit for the first time in company history. That has to say something about the virtue of keeping things as they are now.