After years of speculation and debate, Twitter has announced that all users on the platform are now able to post tweets of up to 280-characters, doubling the limit it originally started with when it launched 10 years ago.
Now, as a tweet is composed, a small circle appears in the lower right hand corner that begins to fill as characters are entered. When space for the last 20 characters is available, the circle changes to orange and a countdown is shown, when the limit is reached, the circle is complete and will turn red.
Ever wanted to view a tweet from a long time ago or from a specific date, but didn't feel like wasting your time scrolling through possibly thousands of them to get to it? Fear not, there's a straightforward way of doing so!
On Twitter, go to the search bar and enter:
from:username since:yyyy-mm-dd until:yyyy-mm-dd
Then replace "username" with the name of the Twitter account.
Then simply enter the dates you'd like to view next to the "since" and "until".
For example, to view tweets from @TwitterUser001 from January 1st, 2009 to March 1st, 2009, you'd enter:
from:twitteruser01 since:2009-01-01 until:2009-03-01
Press enter, and voila! If there a lot of tweets, they may end up being truncated, so you'd then want to click "Latest" to display all the tweets from the specific time frame you selected.
Ten years ago today, the first hashtag was proposed on Twitter. It was created by former Google engineer Chris Messina, who, along with some friends, were frustrated at lack of organization the social media format had at the time. Inspired by similar uses on internet relay chat, in August of 2007, Chris went straight to Twitter's headquarters, approached co-founder Biz Stone, and suggested they begin using the pound symbols to tag posts.
Soon after, a system for searching and displaying hashtags was devised, and the rest is social media history.
Hashtags provide a way for social media users to tag keywords to topics relevant to their posts, enabling other users to find exactly what they're looking for, and for social mediums as a whole to better track what topics are currently being discussed the most, at any given moment. They even allow users to track news in real time. Hashtags have become so pervasive over the past decade, that currently, over 125 million are used daily, just on Twitter alone. When you add even more on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr, that's a lot of tagging!
Happy 10th birthday, hashtag! You make using social media so much more efficient!
As a medium, photos are by far the most engaged-with content on social media. The entire founding of the platforms of Instagram and Snapchat speak to that. Facebook itself encourages administrators of pages to post more posts with photos. It's said that a photo speaks a thousand words, in part, because people see and process them with an immediacy not possible with text or video. You instantly have a feeling when seeing a photo.
There's a rarely spoken-of key to helping drive even more successful engagement with your photos, and it's almost counter-intuitive at first glance. Whenever you post a photo on social media that you're hoping to get a good response from - take a moment to see if the photo looks good small, seriously. Many people take the time to make sure their photos looks good large - and all the fine details are exactly as they want - and you absolutely should, but if a photo can't be understood on a smaller scale, those details may never be seen. If it's not worth viewing, it's a lot less likely to be reacted to, commented on, or shared, and may end up being passed up entirely.
Consider that many of your followers are viewing social media on a small device, with a smaller screen, likely in the midst of doing three other things. If a photo doesn't look intriguing enough to be understood at 400 pixels (or sometimes far less), you may be missing out on engagement that you could've had with a more appealing photo.
Before you post, take a look at the thumbnail of the photo and see if you'd want to view it larger.
It's a long-debated topic, and will continue to be... what social media platform is any given follower the most valuable to you on?
This might be controversial, but as of right now, May 2017, we're going to say it's the most worthwhile to have any given follower on Facebook, than any other social media platform. Yes, a Facebook follower right now is worth more to you from a marketing standpoint, than a follower on Twitter or Instagram.
Why would we say that?
1. Facebook currently has by far, the largest amount of users. It's on track to reach 2 billion users, this year. By comparison, Instagram has less than a third of that, around 600 million, and Twitter has around 300 million. As a matter of fact, as a side note, Tumblr has significantly more users than Twitter does right now, at 500 million. By user metrics alone, you hypothetically have the best chance of reaching the largest audience on Facebook.
2. On Facebook, you can do considerably more with any given post, than on Instagram and Twitter, practically infinitely more-so, right now. On Facebook, you can include just about as much text content as you want, as many external links as you want, individual photos, photo albums of practically unlimited sizes, videos, it allows the ability for multiple sorts of reactions from users, the list goes on and on. Instagram is nice, in that it's comparatively easy to build a large following on (in large party because it's less commitment from a follower's side, and less personal), but you're constrained by your text being almost immediately truncated, short video length, no ability to post external links (how many times can you read "See link in bio", and actually go check it out?) On Twitter, you're limited to 140 characters, and a photo or video or link will start directly eating into that limit. So judging on a metric of how can your followers engage with you? Facebook, by far, gives them the greatest opportunity to interact with you, in the largest ways possible.
3. Which brings us to our third point, Facebook users are accustomed to significantly longer engagement times, categorically - and they're becoming even more-so. Instagram largely consists of scrolling through photos at an athletic pace - you might have a person who's actually interested in your post see it for a matter of seconds, then move on to the next photo - the most interaction you might get is a "Like", and maybe a comment, which is sort of awkwardly presented on Instagram's side. As for Twitter, the users are more engaged with individual posts than Instagram, but again, it's for such short lengths of time, it puts Facebook ahead of the pack, significantly. Using the metric of who is most engaged on any social media platform right now - Facebook users are far-and-away in the lead.
This can also be gauged in almost a sense of social media exchange rate. It's not uncommon to see Instagram and Twitter accounts with astronomical amounts of followers. Part of that is because followers on those platforms are much easier to get - a less engaged audience, on lesser used platforms, seeing less individual content, that you don't even have to use your actual name on. What you don't see as much is inordinately large followings on Facebook, because people are on it more.
We're willing to guess that if you're reading this right now, and you have a Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram account representing an online presence - you likely have less followers on Facebook than the other two. The reason being, on Facebook, a follower has to really, actually like whatever you're promoting, to make the sort of commitment to almost bring you into their online life. Instagram and Twitter are great, but they've almost taken on a more public and less serious model than Facebook has. If you get a follower on Facebook, it will be worth more than one anywhere else - just make sure you retain them, and create content that they'll want to engage with.
To be clear, growing a significant following on any social media platform that's well engaged is worth an inordinate amount to you, as a marketer. Having a solid social media presence has quickly become the standard of any business represented online. However, you can do the most with a follower on Facebook, than anywhere else, right now.