In the middle of the controversy over Donald Trump’s tweets and its positioning, Twitter It has been implementing several new features and tools of those that in such a peculiar social network always give to speak.

None has been as drastic and commented on as its decision in 2017 to expand the characters available for ‘tweets’ from 140 to 280, an idea that at the time was shaken by the community but with the passage of time – as shown by the data- seems to have been an appropriate decision.

Last week Twitter announced without any evidence to let him see the possibility of Publish audios of up to 140 secondsAccording to his own statement, “because sometimes a message of 280 characters is not enough.”

The implementation is currently only available from its iOS app, but it already seems consolidated. Does Twitter want to get away from the written message that has been its hallmark for so long? At what price? Increasingly resemble Instagram and other networks?

However, voice messages They have only been the last of the improvements -or not, it depends on who is asked- that has launched the blue bird social network. Before going into flour, let us review others that have occurred, even if in a trial mode, in recent months:

Have you tried in Brazil or India his ‘Fleets’, their counterparts in the ‘storie’ format of Instagram or Snapchat. It launched the possibility that when a user posts a tweet, they can choose who responds: If only your followers or everyone. Have you tried with the using emojis as a reaction to tweets, something that has already been launched in direct messages, thus emerging from its dichotomy of interactions between retweeting or bookmarking. Enabled the possibility of schedule tweets, thus avoiding having to resort to external platforms. You are testing with an option for when a user retweets a message with a link to a news item, skip the notice in the event that link has not been opened. One step to avoid spreading messages based on headlines that could be misleading. And finally, the new voice messages.

The previous changes resulted in more interaction

Moving from 140 to 280 characters increased conversation and thank you messages

All the changes that Twitter has made have been immediately responded with criticism from some of its users. It is normal in a way, but it is accentuated in a network that has always stood out from the rest due to its particular idiosyncrasy: the word written on the image (at least until now), or the source of information as the first purpose.

Therefore when in 2017 Twitter announced two of its most defining changes in recent years there were many doubts. We talk about the expansion from 140 to 280 characters – an attack shortly that Twitter had configured as what it was, for some – and the birth of the threads, today a classic of the network that at the time was also seen as leaving the proposal of the direct message and to the point.

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Despite the criticism, today we know that those changes, although they gave us the opportunity to enroll more – it is logical, there was more space – also made all Twitter users modulate their language. According to the data of the platform itself, the ‘please’ (please) increased by 54% one year after the increase in characters, while thanks were 22%. It also happened that the abbreviations decreased dramatically, and conversational messages increased by almost 30%.

Twitter looking for user retention

People, with more space, began to exchange more messages. Perhaps to discuss more, perhaps to dialogue and ask more. From that Twitter has not drawn conclusions or any study in a valid way and only remains in the field of impressions. But what is clear is that greater interaction equals greater user retention, one of the most valuable metrics when we talk about their quality and when Twitter tries to increase the number and revenue from the ads it shows.

Keep in mind that Twitter takes several years without being able to critically increase its number of active users: It has 330 million users today, just 28 million more than five years ago, and of which ‘only’ 145 are active monthly, far from the figures of Instagram or Facebook. And their accounts have not been buoyant at all, reaching only profitability in the last two years and after, apparently, their CEO Jack Dorsey ceded some prominence, among the controversies for his leadership, in his idea of ​​not betting on determined by ads on the platform.

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