Weekly Reads – How longer tweets could help brands, plus other social secrets

Social networks tend to protect their secrets like Bernie Madoff protected his clients’ money: ruthlessly with occasional slipups (some bigger than others). The metaphor is intentional, as the motivation for these networks’ secrecy tends to be self-interest; they don’t like publishers getting a leg up. So whenever one of these networks intentionally or unintentionally lets their guard down – as Twitter did this week with CEO Jack Dorsey hinting at (i.e. expressly confirming) the persistent rumor that his platform would expand its character limit to 10,000 by the end of March – publishers should take advantage and act accordingly.

Twitter

AdWeek: 6 ways longer tweets could give branded messages more character
Remember the time your otherwise-clever 140 characters got taken out of context? Political showscandidates and armchair pundits sure do. The ability to add context to a tweet is a big reason why anyone involved in politics or highly regulated industries (see: healthcare, alcohol, pharmaceutical, etc.) could stand to benefit from more characters. The expanded character limit also means better search functionality, more time with consumers and fewer reasons to link off-channel.

Marketing Land: Twitter launches Conversational Ads to get people tweeting about brands
Almost simultaneously linked to its quasi-announcement about expanded character limits, Twitter officially announced Conversational Ads – otherwise known as an incentive for brands to continue keeping tweets short and tweet. And there’s plenty of incentive for brands to use these ads. Linked to the polling feature Twitter rolled out last year, Conversational Ads will encourage users to interact with brands’ tweets and aid in the promotion of branded hashtags.

Snapchat

DigiDay: Snapchat is building an ad technology platform
Not on Snapchat yet? This may provide a good reason for you to consider the plunge. Snapchat currently works directly with brands and agencies, but this rumored API, allegedly set to begin testing this spring, would allow more types of ads – including those with a call-to-action – that brands could execute themselves.

Facebook

Slate: How Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm really works
“No one outside Facebook knows for sure how (Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm ranks posts), and no one inside the company will tell you.” While that may be the biggest (and most unfortunate) takeaway from a lengthy read about Facebook’s infamous algorithm, Slate was provided enough access to offer some worthwhile insights about how the sausage gets made. Again, the sausage metaphor is intentional, as this story depicts the algorithm as being less elegant than one might expect – perhaps suggesting you stop letting it haunt your dreams.

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