At its debut in July 2006, Twitter, initially dubbed Twttr, was an SMS text-based service. It was created for friendship groups to stay updated with one another through occasional status updates. As SMS was limited to 160 characters, the first tweets were restricted to only 140 characters, with the remaining 20 for the username.
As Twitter grew in popularity and transitioned into a more dynamic online platform, the management decided to preserve the 140-character limit. Quickly becoming a crucial aspect of the global social media platform.
How many characters in a tweet can be used?
Twitter increased its tweet character limit by a factor of two to 280 in 2017. They highlighted the variation in tweet length between languages as the key reason for the change. A tweet in English may be twice as long as one in Japanese.
While language parity was a significant reason for the adjustment, Twitter also admitted that the limited 140-character limit was limiting its users’ ability to communicate freely on the medium.
So, how did the increase from 140 to 280 characters influence Twitter’s social activity and communication? When the adjustment to the character limit was first announced, some users were ecstatic at getting more characters. This was in order to express themselves. In contrast, others saw it contradictory to Twitter’s quick and concise nature.
Despite Twitter users’ mixed opinions about the increased character restriction, the adjustment did succeed in increasing discourse and engagement on the online social networking site.
Creativity likes restrictions, and minimalism seems to be at the foundation. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, allowing them to be readily digested anywhere, including mobile text messaging. There is no ideal length for a Tweet. But according to a recent Buddy Media survey, Tweets with fewer than 100 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate.
The Buddy Media analysis is consistent with a research study of 100 well-known organizations that are prominent on Twitter conducted by Track Social. Track Social discovered that the ideal Tweet length was around 100 characters.
According to their findings, retweets increased in the 71–100-character range, or “medium” messages. These medium tweets offer sufficient characters for the original poster to communicate something crucial. Also, allowing the person retweeting to give feedback.
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Very recently, the new CEO Elon Musk has said that Twitter’s character limit will be changed from the current 280 characters to 4000 characters. With the limit raised to 4000, Twitter may discontinue Threads. And users will resort to creating notable blogs similar to those found on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Several concerns have been raised over the effect this move will have on the organization. Making this another problem the dissenters have with the new changes brought about by the change in the upper-level management of Twitter.
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