Twitter Gives Brands Space to Run, Brands Run Badly

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Illustration by Tam Nguyen/Ad Age

Brands are making the most of more Twitter space, now that they are allowed 280 characters instead of just 140.

On Tuesday, Twitter announced it would try the longer format for tweets, and brands began expanding their messages. But padding might be a better word for it.

Turns out 140 characters was probably plenty for most advertisers, who hardly seem to know what to do with all that extra space. In fact, some of their tweets read like a grade-school student trying to fill a word count by adding "very, very, very, very" to every thought.

Twitter is testing the longer character limit because it wants more users tweeting, and the traditional 140 characters had been a deterrent for many Twitter novices. But for the faithful, 140 characters was the social service's defining asset.

Here's a look at how some brands are using the expanded space on Twitter:

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