When composing this post, I decided to review Quora to learn how others perceive microblogging: what are its primary attributes, and how it stacks up against traditional blogging (viz. long form posts, such as this one). By understanding the reasons for its growing adoption, these same principles highlight its usefulness for internal communication.

> What is microblogging?

Microblogging is also referred to as micro posts. Microblogging is a combination of blogging and instant messaging. Users create short messages to be posted and shared with an audience online. These short messages offer a variety of content formats including text, images, video, audio, and hyperlinks. The trend evolved around the end the Web 2.0 era after social media and traditional blogging merged to create a faster way to communicate on a diversity of topics.

> What has made microblogging grow in popularity?

  • Diminishing spans of user attention. Small snippets of content are well suited to busy, always connected lives.
  • Less time spent on creating content. It requires some serious energy to compose or set up content for a lengthy blog entry. With microblogging, you can post something new that takes a few moments to create.
  • Users can post in a short, straight to the point manner. As such, it also suits amateur writers.
  • It’s ideal for spontaneous thoughts and time sensitive information. When considering internal communications, employee notifications and alerts are typical examples.
  • Data consumption is low.

> What are the advantages and disadvantages of microblogging over a regular blogging platform?

Advantages:

  • Microblog posts are more readable on mobile devices than long form posts.
  • Flexibility and freedom of sharing content. Long form blogging has more rigid standards and might seem overly curated and unrealistic.
  • The convenience of more frequent updates.

Disadvantages:

  • The restrictions imposed on expression by the character limit makes microblogging unsuitable for sharing in-depth topics. Long form posts provide the necessary information that satisfies all the queries that readers may have. However, it should be noted that hyperlinks within micro posts can address this need. For internal communications, this means a micro post can gain quick attention while the hyperlink offers more detailed information.
  • Long form posts are more customizable; users can personalize the look of their page.
  • For websites, microblogs without other content can hurt when it comes to search because Google sees these pages as low value.

> Examples of microblog sites

Twitter

Twitter is not only one of the most popular microblogging sites, but it’s also one of the most popular social media platforms. Each of your Tweets has a 280-character cap.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media network. It’s also the most robust microblogging platform. On Facebook, you can share text-based updates, photos, GIFs, videos, an emotion you’re feeling, an activity you’re currently doing, and the location you’re currently in.

Instagram

While Instagram is mostly a visual platform, you can caption up to 2,200 characters for each photo or video posted on your profile.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social media platform geared towards business professionals and has a powerful microblogging component. There’s functionality to post articles, but also status updates for microblogs. With these status updates, you can share a photo, video, event, or hyperlink.

Tumblr

Tumblr is bustling hub of content. On the microblogging site, you can create a blog and include links, text, photos, GIFs, videos, Spotify tracks, MP3 files, and more in your posts.

Pinterest

Unlike most microblogs, Pinterest is purely visual. You can create Boards, which are collections of pictures curated around a specific topic; post Pins of your pictures; and add Tries, which are notes and photos of the ideas you tried.

> Conclusion

Microblogging for public consumption has capitalized on the benefits outlined. The most popular social media platforms offer overwhelming evidence of how people value it worldwide. Its popularity is driven by convenience and easier consumption in a work-life of content overload.

The value proposition for internal communications is clear. Microblogging, or messaging, does not own busy lives and therefore is more likely to garner attention. As a dedicated company channel, it avoids the clutter of inboxes and the scrolling chatter in multi-channel chat tools.

Employees are social platform users. If microblogging works for them there, why not adopt the same principles for internal communication?

About the Author: Martin Brandt

Martin Brandt is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for JamAngle.