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Twitter Stories: Expanding Beyond the 140 Character Limit

twitter_logo_2011.jpgTwitter has caught a lot of flak over the years for sticking strong to its 140 character limit, but this week the platform showed a bit of flexibility with Stories. The spin-off site showcases interesting tweets and ways users are communicating via the platform. 

At first glance, the new site is largely photo-based with story titles attached. Click on one and you'll be forwarded to an enlarged version of the picture accompanied by a quick summary of the user responsible for it, a map of their location and a link to their Twitter account. Some stories also include  videos:

"Read about a single Tweet that helped save a bookstore from going out of business; an athlete who took a hundred of his followers out to a crab dinner; and, Japanese fishermen who use Twitter to sell their catch before returning to shore. Each story reminds us of the humanity behind Tweets that make the world smaller," reads the official Twitter announcement.

Users can submit their stories for consideration via the hashtag #TwitterStory, or by mentioning @twitterstories. 

Telling a Good Story is Important

We've spoken a lot to the importance of story telling in recent times. Back in March, for example, a whole panel at the eMetrics conference in San Francisco was dedicated to the art. 

“As long as you tell them a positive story, it almost doesn’t matter what format you present it in," said Brandon Bunker, Sr. Manager of Analytics at Sony, of explaining marketing analytics to CMOs.

User stories are a similarly good marketing tool— a point made obvious in the video of the book store above. The effort, as well as the word "stories" are no strangers to social platforms: Facebook launched a marketing campaign last year, called Facebook Stories, which is billed as "all about the individual and collective experiences of you and your friends." Meanwhile, Google Stories collects tales from users about how Google has affected their lives.

Twitter's addition is no surprise, but it stands to add more value than the Facebook and Google versions simply because it springboards from a much more limited platform. But of course, that's all up to the people behinds the feathered curtain, picking and choosing which stories get the spotlight. And speaking of, does anyone else think it's a little odd that there's no mention of the political uprising sweeping across the country? 

 
 
 
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