If you are on Twitter (and you should be), you have probably seen this more times than you can count:
Threading has become a popular new form of communicating on Twitter, and it has gained traction over the last few years as massive news stories break. 140 characters just weren’t enough to spread information that people wanted and/or needed. Even with the new 280 character boost, threading is still rampant. Often people number their tweets, or simply start off warning that it’s a thread. Then retweets happen, and people simply put “Thread” and hope you dive in. It can get confusing, and annoying, but it is a fantastic means of communicating on Twitter, and Twitter has finally paid attention.
Why Are Threads So Painful To Build?
The difficult part in building a thread is creating new tweets over and over. It took a great deal of time, and often people would have no idea when the thread would end. If you were pulled away from your phone, you might have huge gaps in your thread, rendering it less viral and awkward. No one wants to wait 45 minutes between chunks of content. Twitter goes by so quickly that you will lose mindshare within minutes.
How Can Twitter Help?
Android Police revealed Twitter’s new solution: the Tweetstorm. The new feature will actually allow you to create your thread all at once, so when you are finished, you can then publish it all at once. No more responding to yourself repeatedly, and no more time gaps! Imagine being able to simply write your thread at once, or even saving it as a draft and compiling it through the day, and not worry about your followers being too distracted to wait for each bit.
The interface appears to be simple, although it is still in alpha and beta testing. There will, presumably, a “+” sign on your composition screen, allowing you to add another tweet, and so on, similar to the poll interface Twitter currently uses.
Why Does It Matter?
One of the major challenges with Twitter is getting your message across in one tweet. The ease of threading them brings in a whole dimension to your messaging. You can potentially string products together, offering a “journey” through your wares. It can become a more substantial news portal for you. Imagine being able to advertise an event and listing the dates and locations in one easy to share thread. It is not a tactic you want to use often, but in the right circumstances, creating a single piece of content that can spread out over multiple tweets can have a dramatic impact.
Twitter has confirmed the feature is being tested on both iOS and Android, but has given no indication that it will be released, or even widely tested. Twitter has always been fairly attentive as far as how users actually use the platform, so there is a high chance they will adapt to Tweet threads in some manner, and this seems like a phenomenal way to go about it! We will make sure to update you when Twitter releases more information.
Until we (hopefully) get this new feature, it’s important to learn how to get the most out of the 280 characters you now have.