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The world is always changing and people are coming up with new ideas every day. Therefore, often original ideas need to change at least a bit over time to be successful. This isn’t only true for small businesses but is true even on a larger scale.

Even social media platforms can have trouble being successful. For example, two platforms that are currently struggling to have public attention are Snapchat and Twitter. Whether it is a surprise or not, Facebook has been seeing much popularity in comparison to both. But just how bad are the numbers? Likely worse than anyone probably knew in Twitter’s case. This is because Twitter has recently admitted to reporting higher user numbers by mistake since the fourth quarter of 2014.

In other news, Snapchat can credit its rival, Instagram, as one of the reasons why numbers are decreasing. Earlier this year, it was found there are more people using Instagram Stories each day than people on Snapchat.  While social media platforms often make small changes to interest viewers, this time both platforms are stepping up their game. In fact, both could be said to be taking a risk hoping it works to their benefit.

Twitter

Recently, Twitter extended its character limit from 140 to 280 characters.  It may not seem a like a big deal to those who do not use the platform but it has its risk. What really made  Twitter stand out, from the beginning, was the short character count. Therefore, this idea in a way gets rid of what makes it different from other social media platforms.

Often, people have a hard time thinking about what to say on social media. However, Twitter made the process of posting content a little more challenging. The character limit made people think about how they say their thoughts, forcing them to be brief. While there is still a limit, it allows more freedom in expressing opinions. With this change, users will not have to shorten thoughts, making the platform more approachable. We are in a fast-moving world and this change works with that by making Twitter easier to use.

The People React

However, there are those who are already using the platform who are not welcoming the change with open arms.  It hasn’t been just the regular users who are unhappy. Additionally, famous authors including Stephen King and J.K. Rowling have voiced their discontent. There are many arguments as to why the update wasn’t a thoughtful, smart move.

So is the change a smart idea? Although it is too early to tell, it doesn’t seem it will increase interest much if at all. There was an early sign that reaction would not be as big as one would hope. In fact, during the testing phase, most people didn’t use 280 characters to express themselves. This shows the character limit isn’t necessarily why the platform is struggling. Therefore, it also raises the question of if the platform is headed further in a bad direction. As the saying goes, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, this is exactly what is Twitter is doing by changing its character limit.

Snapchat

There have been small changes to the platform with time, such as adding temporary features that are holiday-themed. As mentioned above, Instagram is often said to be better than Snapchat, even when it comes to marketing. Will the new change allow Snapchat to finally rise above Instagram?

What really sets Snapchat apart is that content people add is available only for a certain amount of time. Also, at first appearance, the platform doesn’t give the impression that it can be helpful for businesses. However, the new feature could change how important Snapchat is to success.

 Context to Stories

Last month, Snapchat introduced “Context Cards”. If you haven’t heard about the latest feature, it can help businesses by helping people. For example, this feature allows users to share their experience at a location by submitting a Snap to Our Story.  Users can swipe up on any Snap that says “more” to view context cards. This allows users to spread the word about a place they enjoy.  As a result, it is a way for businesses to receive free publicity.

Additionally, Snap, Inc. has gained partners to increase the impact of the feature.  What makes this feature so different is that it allows users to have ease when planning outings. Users can view Snaps from others who have visited the location and information such as business hours or location.  Also, people can book a ride using Uber or make a reservation with OpenTable. This could raise the popularity of the app by making it more user-friendly. The feature makes the app useful for exploring the world, from finding a place to visit to getting there.

The End of These Platforms (As We Know It)?

Will abandoning what originally set these platforms apart mean their end? Or will a fresh look engage more people to flock to the platforms? These changes come near the end of 2017, raising questions about what lies ahead in the upcoming year. Only time will tell if these changes will bring success to these platforms.

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