Twitter officially adds support for tweetstorms because 280 characters isn’t long enough

Tim Peterson on
  • Categories: Channel: Social Media Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Twitter: User Interface
  • Like the retweet, @ reply and hashtag before it, the tweetstorm has graduated from a user-initiated workaround to an officially supported part of Twitter.

    On Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new feature for people to tether multiple tweets into what was previously dubbed a tweetstorm but what Twitter is titling a “thread.” Twitter will roll out threads to everyone who uses its site and apps “in the coming weeks,” according to a company blog post.

    Previously, people had to reply to their own tweets in order to create a thread. Now after they compose one tweet, they will be able to select a “+” button to create the next tweet in a thread, repeating the process until their thread is complete. People will also be able to add tweets to already-published threads.

    Twitter is also tweaking how threads are shown in people’s feeds. Instead of people feeling the need to write “1/x” to denote a thread, Twitter will add a “Show this thread” label to the tweets in a thread that people can select to see the complete yarn.

    The adoption of threads is the latest example of Twitter going long. Last month, the company officially doubled the maximum length of a tweet from 140 characters to 280 characters. Extending the length of the content in people’s timelines may be risky if people’s Twitter timelines begin to too closely resemble an issue of The New Yorker and turn off users interested in quick-hit content to help pass the time during a commercial break. But so far, Twitter’s move appears to be paying off. According to a BuzzFeed article published last week, 141-character-or-longer tweets receive more retweets and likes than those that remain within the 140-character confines, though the novelty of the longer tweets may factor into their popularity and may fade over time.

    About The Author

    Tim Peterson
    Tim Peterson, Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat's ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar's attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon's ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube's programming strategy, Facebook's ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking's rise; and documented digital video's biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed's branded video production process and Snapchat Discover's ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.