Stuffing ideas in 140 characters is truly an exercise of good editing, not to mention the challenge of tweeting something interesting enough to be a trending topic.
But new evidence found out that most of us have actually become quite effective at being concise, indicating changes on how we communicate in the digital space.
Christian Alis and May Lim from the University of the Philippines measured 229 million tweets gathered from 2009 to 2012 and observed that the median length of Twitter posts have shrunk from 10 words to eight.
The authors suspect that an increased and effective use of jargon ranging from text speak, abbreviations and emoticons could be behind the trend. But it’s not just the rapid shift from “I love you” to “I luv u” to just “<3” in the last three years that ‘s interesting.
The study also found that the popularity of jargon implies that Twitter users now belong to well-defined groups who understand the same jargon. For marketers, this presents an opportunity for brands to better target its consumers.
For instance, Alis and Lim discovered that the black population is strongly correlated with shorter tweets since they use Twitter significantly more than other groups, along with the jargon unique to them.
Timi Siytangco, director of brands & agencies at Outbrain, shared with Marketing that the trend doesn’t necessarily mean a need to cut down brand messages.
“It reflects consumer habits and brands need to roll with that and use it to understand how they can communicate effectively with their audiences. But I don’t think shorter tweets are “good” or “bad” for brands. A short tweet can be just as emotional and funny and powerful as a long one.
How far can jargon go? Siytangco recommends this hilarious video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake taking the #hashtag lingo to the limit.
What impact will conciseness and jargon do to the industry? Your views, please, in the comments section.