From Americans sharing their thoughts on Brexit to Friends fans arguing why Rachel should have ended up with Joey, Twitter threads are taking over the way we tell stories on social media. There once was a time when users were forced to cram everything they wanted to say into no more than 140 characters, but thanks to threaded tweets, we’re now able to spill our thoughts onto the platform and share everything from our personal life stories to tales of celebrity appreciation.
Some people have questioned whether Twitter threads are worth the hassle. After all, considering how valuable blog content can be to SEO, wouldn’t it make more sense to write a blog post and link to it on Twitter? Tina Roth Eisenberg tweeted this very question and you’ll find some of the responses below.
Long threads on Twitter? Wouldn't it make more sense to write a thoughtful blog post and link to it in one Tweet?
— Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss) July 15, 2017
You’ll be forced to be concise
How often do you feel under pressure to write long and meaty blog posts to keep search engines happy? Many writers pad out their messages with unnecessary words and sentences in a bid to reach their word count.
In contrast, thanks to Twitter’s 140 character limit, tweets are forced to be insightful yet concise. When you go through the process of converting your blogs into Twitter threads, you’ll see your posts in a new light and be as succinct as possible. There’s no point transferring every single sentence from your blog post into your thread as Twitter users will just lose interest.
Threads cater for short attention spans and laziness
Perhaps one reason Twitter is so popular is that it allows people to scroll mindlessly, soaking up information from a diverse group of people without having to leave the platform or navigate around different websites. Our attention spans are shorter than ever and our laziness levels are at an all time high. By turning your blog posts into easily digestible tweets, you cater for those who want to read something of value without committing to an entire article.
ppl have been conditioned to not click because all the js, the ads, the share button pop ups, etc. make it harder than a thread.
— Young Lovellstein 💀 (@stephencreates) July 15, 2017
Gabor Javorszky says: “I find myself reading threads 80+ tweets long, but as soon as I need to click on to a medium/whatever link, I lose interest. Blog posts have way too much fluff around the substance. Twitter threads seem to be substance only.”
You’ll give your most loyal fans multiple opportunities to share
When you tweet a link to a blog post you’ve created, those willing to share your content with others are unlikely to do so more than once on each platform. In contrast, by breaking your blog post down into a stream of tweets, you give your most loyal followers the opportunity to retweet and praise you multiple times.
Chidera Eggerue aka The Slumflower is a perfect example of someone whose devoted fan base is only too happy to share her content over and over again. Although she’s a talented blogger, presenter and speaker, it’s probably fair to say that she’s best known for her Twitter threads on female empowerment, self-esteem and body image. Rather than sharing links to articles she’s written, she regularly tweets motivational messages to her followers.
Her ‘dump him’ thread encouraging women to bin their bad boyfriends has proven especially popular.
Do better 2017.
— THE SLUMFLOWER (@theslumflower) December 29, 2016
Each of The Slumflower’s tweets earn thousands of shares, likes and comments from her 32,000-strong following. Scrolling through her most loyal followers’ profiles, The Slumflower’s tweets crop up time and time again. If she spent her time encouraging people to leave the platform in order to view her content, I’m not sure she’d have as much success.
Saying that, she’s gained so much influence, she’s probably gotten to a stage where she has free-reign to do as she pleases and her supporters will follow.
Turned on notifications for @theslumflower ‘s tweets. This is gonna be a good month⭐️
— katy (@katymcleary) August 3, 2017
I wanna put all of @theslumflower‘s tweets into a motivational self-help book
— keenia savannah✨ (@keeniasavannah) April 25, 2017
Let people ignore the parts they don’t identify with
A Twitter thread enables people to effortlessly share very specific messages that resonate with them, while also leaving out the bits they don’t identify with. In a thread of 25 tweets, only one has to catch a person’s eye for it to be shared with others. With blog posts, unless a reader likes the article in its entirety, they’re unlikely to share it.
Sometimes it seems folks love RTing just the one or two key points that resonate most with them from the tweetstorms/threads they see.
— Maxim (@round) July 15, 2017
Your tweets can take on a life of their own
Part of the beauty of Twitter threads is the way they often take on a life of their own. If your content really resonates with people, you may see users quote tweeting you and triggering a much wider conversation. This could inspire future blog posts and future threads. It’s one massive cycle.
Digital expert Terence Eden decided to represent the magic of threads in a series of graphs. He then went on to share this information in a viral Twitter thread, obviously.
He explained: “Some threads become so long and involved that the original user might not even see how they conclude. Some arc off into a mess – but that’s OK! You should be able to prune off the branches which don’t matter to you.
This is what Twitter threads *actually* look like. They're not linear conversations, they're branching organic trees. pic.twitter.com/gr4b0cCV4v
— Terence Eden (@edent) March 2, 2017
Not all Twitter threads are as valuable as the one above, though they do often serve as amusing – and often viral – memes. When Elise Foley praised ‘nested doll’ threads, (when tweets are shared inside of tweets rather than listed in a regular thread), her followers decided to give her exactly what she craves.
that’s what we’re trying to do right??
— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) August 18, 2017
Click the tweet below and you’ll be taken on a click-bait filled journey before eventually arriving back at Elise Foley’s initial tweet.
Stunning revelations by a coalition of investigative journalists. https://t.co/jVzbtyFx22
— Bae Grylls (@TheAuracl3) August 19, 2017
Recycling your content is the way forward
Turning your blog posts into Twitter threads is just one of many ways to recycle your content and make the most of work you’ve already spent time creating.
When asked whether it’s best to share blog posts on Twitter rather than creating a thread, Lawrence Oluyede tweeted: “You’d lose the audience unfortunately. People like to comment or retweet parts of the thread. Could still make it a blog post afterwards. Or even write a blog post, post the gist/commentary as a thread and link the actual article in the meantime. “Remix” your content.”