This Is Why Twitter Doubled Its Character Limit To 280

Data Is The New Arms Race

Twitter has rolled out its new character limit, doubling the original number from 140 to 280.

To some, it was certainly controversial.

To others, it was well received.

So why did Twitter choose to do this?

One word.

Data.

When you capture more data, you increase your ability to extract sentiment.
When you extract sentiment, you increase your ability to personalise and target your audience with greater relevance.
When you target your audience with greater relevance, you increase your ability to engage.
When you engage your audience, you increase your monetisation potential.

What metrics matter to Twitter?

The metrics that matter to Wall Street.

Users and Revenues.

Both going up.

By increasing the data captured, Twitter has instantly super-charged its ability to elicit greater sentiment and push the needle on the core metrics that matter.

We have become bombarded with technology that enables our desires to be extracted at any time and any place with devices such as Alexa and Google Home and assistants such as Siri and Cortana. Facebook now has the largest facial recognition system in the world. Collectively these generate new data points that enable companies to elicit greater meaning and sort the ‘Sick’ from the ‘Sick’ and the ‘Bad’ from the ‘Bad’, whether you are laughing, smiling or groaning when you say it.

Data isn’t the new oil. It’s the new arms race.