When Twitter first hit the social media scene, part of the appeal was the strict 140 character limit; meaning that you didn’t have to scroll through huge blocks of text detailing what someone you had a class with three years ago had for breakfast, or the graphic details of your cousin’s messy relationship breakdown. Yes, Twitter made it easier to cut through the noise and forced people to be more creative with what they were saying out in the public arena. Good times.
Twitter recently increased the size of a post to 280 characters; but even though this is double the original count, it’s still an enforced limit on how much you can say. It means that every word counts and this has been a successful formula for a lot of platforms – Instagram and Tumblr rely on short, snappy updates and it’s rare to see longer form posts on these networks.
Given how integral social media is in our every day lives, it’s not really a huge surprise that this page idea eventually found its way out into the ether. Twitter was the easy choice because it gives your yearbook interviewees a limit (we recommend 140 characters as per the original limit, otherwise you’re totally inviting people to write a novel and nobody wants that in a yearbook.) As well as asking people to describe their time at school using the Twitter format, you could also do the following:
- Top people to follow on Twitter. This will be a great one to look back on in years to come. We can almost guarantee you won’t remember at least half of the ‘celebrities’ that you were obsessed with back in your school days.
- Funniest Tweets from classmates, voted for by the yearbook committee. Of course it’s going to be subjective, but you can’t really argue with spending an afternoon browsing Twitter; it’s for research purposes so it’s clearly an essential task.
- Funny predictions for new Twitter rules. Maybe you think they’ll increase the character limit to 1000? Maybe they’ll do away with it completely and let people write as much as they like? Or, going the other way, maybe Twitter will get sick of all the tweeting and insist every update must now only be three words.
- Most memorable hashtag games. These are a big favourite in our office, and it all began with #BaconMovies (where you replace a word in a film title with Bacon; the results are both hilarious and baffling). These tags pop up a few times a week on Twitter usually, and when they’re good… they’re really good.
- Include a Twitter directory. If you want to keep in touch with your classmates, include a page where people can either write down their Twitter usernames, or have them in print if you’re really committed.
While we haven’t managed to keep this post to 140 characters (admittedly we didn’t try), we hope that it has inspired you to get to the point with some character limits in your yearbook. We’d love to see your ideas or designs if you’ve used a social-inspired theme, you can find us on Twitter here*.
*Also, we’ve run out of hashtag games and need some ideas, thanks.