It’s hard to imagine the internet without the constant buzz of Twitter, the popular social media platform on which hundreds of millions of short soundbites from politicians, celebrities, and other online users are shared out each day.
As a platform known for brevity and concision, Twitter’s 280 character limit is arguably as much a defining feature of its brand as the little blue bird for which is the website’s iconic logo.
But why does Twitter have its 280 character limit and how does it shape the online activity of the social media platform?
At the time of its inception in July 2006, Twitter, originally called Twttr, was an SMS text-based service designed for groups of friends to keep tabs on each other through periodic status updates. Because SMS was limited by a 160 character limit, the first tweets were limited to a maximum length of 140 characters, with the remaining 20 reserved for the username.
As Twitter became more popular and moved to a more versatile online website, the company decided to keep its 140 character limit, which soon became an essential feature of the worldwide social media platform.
In November 2017, Twitter made the unprecedented decision to expand its character limit from 140 to 280 characters, citing a disparity in tweet length between different languages as the primary motivation for its move. A tweet in English could be twice as long as the same tweet in Japanese.
For example, the phrase "Good morning" has 12 characters in English including the space in the middle. In Chinese, "Good morning" represented by the Chinese characters 早上好, are only 3 characters.
As you can see it would be unnecessary to expand the tweet character limit in languages like Chinese, Japanese and Korean to 280 characters because they are already able to say a lot with less characters.
Twitter found that approximately 9 percent of English tweets reached the 140 character limit, compared to only 0.4 percent of Japanese tweets. In order to create greater parity, Twitter extended the character limit for English tweets by double, while Asian language tweets remained capped at 140 characters.
While language parity was one important reason for the character limit change, Twitter also acknowledged that the small 140 character limit was restricting the ability of its users to express themselves on the platform.
So how did the change from 140 to 280 characters affect the social activity and communication on Twitter? When character limit change was first announced, some users were enthusiastic about having more characters with which to express their thoughts, while others found it contrary to Twitter’s brief and concise nature.
Despite the mixed feelings of Twitter users about the new character limit, the change did in fact succeed in bringing more conversation and more engagement to the online social media platform.
One big concern was that if Twitter users have a hard time fitting all their words into such a small 140 character limit, they may be less likely to actually tweet.
Interestingly enough, when given the opportunity to use more characters to express their thoughts, most Twitter users don’t use the extra space. After the character limit change in November 2017, Twitter observed that 12 percent of English tweets reached the past limit of 140 characters, while only one percent of tweets hit the new 280 character limit and only 5% of tweets surpassed 190 characters.
The shift implies two key trends related to Twitter’s character limit change. Firstly, far fewer tweets are reaching the upper character range with the 280 character limit than did with the 140 character limit, suggesting that the additional 140 characters have significantly improved the ability of users to express themselves in tweets.
Secondly, the overwhelming majority of tweets have stayed below 190 characters, meaning that Twitter users fundamentally recognize and appreciate the short, concise nature of communication on the social media platform.
Finding the sweet spot between self-expression and brevity can be difficult, but according to TrackSocial, tweets within the ideal range of 71 to 100 characters get the most retweets on average.
As a platform, Twitter has succeeded largely in part to its 280 character word count, which sets it apart from other social media platforms and allows for the rapid dissemination of information in response to breaking current events.
For example, a 280 character tweet is more quotable than a long news article and the publishing time is drastically reduced.
Despite how you may feel about the character limit, whether it be too long or short, it is highly unlikely that it will go anywhere. It could change, grow shorter, or longer, but it will still be around to encourage the microblogging aspect of the social network.
Whether you are a first-time twitter user or a frequent tweeter, the fact remains the same for everyone; it’s not always easy to condense your point to such few characters.
For some, it’s no trouble to figure out exactly what and how they want to word their tweet. However, even those individuals have had moments where they were sitting there, twitter app or website open, trying desperately to not go over the character count. It’s a particular issue every user will face, eventually.
A short character limit may seem strange since it’s not on every social media site out there, but for Twitter it makes sense and is really one thing they are known for now.
The character limit on Twitter is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s one of the best things about Twitter. Attempting to express yourself in the least number of words takes practice and a bit of talent. Anyone can learn to do it.
The limit on tweets is something that is here to stay and it’s important that it does too. From a business standpoint, you want to capture the audience’s attention as quickly as possible.
People have a short attention span in our modern society. They are always on the go with never enough time to stop and catch their breath. If you are trying to advertize something, you want to get it across immediately; hence taking advantage of how short tweets are expected to be. Outside a marketing and business perspective, the limit is still a valuable tool for your readers.
Keeping in mind how quick people scroll through twitter, your words need to be concise with no fluff or beating around the bush. If you cannot do that, then guess what, you are going to lose the reader’s interest instantaneously. They’ll just scroll onto the next post and on, and on…
Even with the extra characters added in 2017, you still need to make it short and sweet. This is why the character limit is so important and needs to be kept. The same goes for any more increases because another character limit increase could potentially defeat the purpose of a tweet.
Remember, anyone can hook their audience with a catchy tweet. It just may take some practice on your part. Mastering the short character limit will make you a better writer because of the skill involved and hopefully you will see your follower count on Twitter grow as well.
Being able to write great Tweets doesn't just happen overnight. It takes a lot of trial and error in order to create content that generates satisfying results, whether you’re a budding social media influencer or a well-established company. If you want to learn to write content that will keep your Twitter audience engaged, here are some quick tips and tricks to incorporate into your writing that will apply to both professional and personal brands.
Concise writing is key since Twitter only allows 280 characters per Tweet. Stay on one topic rather than try to discuss multiple trains of thought because you will surely run out of character space.
When you write your Tweet, you want to leave your audience with a clear message of what you want them to do or not do after they’re finished reading.
This could be telling them to follow you, to click on the link in your bio, or to sign a petition today. Or maybe you just want to create a conversation, express your thoughts or banter back and forth.
Establishing a voice is a bit more tricky because you need to figure out what the audience will respond to most positively, while also keeping a personal tone that is fitting with your brand. No matter what though, Tweets should be conversational without being too informal.
Hashtags should be related to your message. They can help add more to the conversation, but using too many can actually deter engagement with your Tweets.
Additionally, using hashtags that are trending will help boost viewership. Trends are constantly changing each day, so in order to keep up with what’s current, it’s best to utilize the Explore tab on Twitter. With this in mind, make sure you choose your hashtags carefully.
If you’re working on building your own personal brand as a social media influencer, some of the most popular hashtags to use are: #influencer #influencermarketing #fitness #explore #vegan
For businesses and other organizations, one way to include hashtags is to use them to promote an upcoming event at your company. For example, if your company is located in New York City, use the hashtag #NYC.
You can also use hashtags for whatever industry your company is a part of, such as #tech, #healthcare, or #finance.
Aside from writing great Tweets, you’ll want a strong profile to establish credibility and grow your following. Part of a strong profile consists of having a compelling bio that represents who you are.
Follow these tips to write original and creative Twitter bios to make you and your brand stand out.
Describe what you do and take the time to brag about your brand a little.
Twitter bios are essentially like elevator pitches, so make sure to paint your brand in the best possible light. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but promoting yourself or your company is important here.
With limited character space, emojis can help convey what you don’t have room to say. They also spice up a plain block of text and add more personality to your bio.
Twitter is a social platform that allows you to make connections and engage in conversation with anyone, so long as you’re able to grab their attention first.
It’s easy for your voice to get lost among the constantly changing world of the big, wide web. Some ways you can stand out are to have a unique Twitter handle and know how to use direct messaging (DM) to your advantage.
If you want to learn how to send effective DM’s and to create the perfect username, you’re in the right place!
Twitter has a daily limit of 1,000 messages on the amount of DMs you can send per day, so use your DMs wisely.
You’ll want to make sure that you’re being straightforward and stating your business clearly.Nobody is entitled to respond to a DM, so the more truthful you are with your request, the more likely you are to engage a response.
Make an effort to answer a message as soon as you see it. DMing can be a time-consuming process and responding right away shows you are interested and that you care about the other person’s time. As a result, the relationship will be stronger.
It’s common for people to interact through public Tweets, but when the conversation takes a more personal turn, it might be time to move to a more private form of communication.
For example, if you wanted to share a contact number or email address, you could respond with a DM so the whole timeline doesn’t have to see it. This shows tact, social grace, and a respect for privacy.
Sharing photos, GIFs, or videos doesn’t make the conversation any less serious or professional. In fact, visual stimuli can actually help emphasize your point and make it easier to understand. They also can help add a spark to the conversation and elicit enjoyment.
Use your name. Fusing your first and last name together is the easiest and most classic method. Another option is to use a nickname or to play around with the letters in your first and last name.
For instance, if your name is Sally Smith, your Twitter handle could be @ssmith. If you have a really common name, this option may not work since your username idea has likely already been taken, but don’t worry! There are plenty of other ideas available to create a username you’ll love.
Numbers are a great way of adding a unique twist to a username that’s already been taken. The numbers you choose can be a random combination; it could even be your favorite number or your birthday.
However, you don’t want your username to end up looking like a phone number.
A username that consists of mostly numbers isn’t as attractive to the eye and it doesn’t show anything personal about who you are. Try to keep the number usage down to just two or three numbers.
Whether it’s a hobby, skill, or your career, incorporating something specific about yourself into your Twitter name attracts more people with similar interests or backgrounds to your account.
For example, if your name is Bob and you work in sales your username could be @bobthesalesguy
If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to stand out from the crowd.
Overall, writing a good, solid Tweet takes time and practice. Hopefully, these quick tips will help you grow your brand in no time.
To use our Twitter counter, simply type your text in the textbox at the top of the page. You will see the tweet length displayed as Characters Typed above along with the Characters Remaining. The tweet length limit is 280 characters.
Note that Twitter does not count words, it counts characters. If you need a Twitter word counter you can use the counter on our homepage to get the word count. But again, the character count is what Twitter uses, not the Twitter word count.
After you type your text in the textbox, you can see an additional 4 metrics. They are the Twitter bio character limit, the Twitter DM character limit, the Twitter profile name character limit and the Twitter username character limit. All these limits will show up in red once the limit has been exceeded.
Below the textbox there are three buttons. The Clear Text button which will delete all text from the textbox, the Copy Text button which will copy all text inside the textbox and the Post Tweet button. The Post Tweet button will post whatever is inside the textbox onto Twitter provided you are already signed in to your Twitter account.
Each Chinese, Japanese or Korean character will now count as 2 characters.
So for example, a tweet that contains 100 Chinese characters and 80 English characters would have reached the tweet length limit because the 100 Chinese characters would count as 200 characters and then plus the 80 English characters.
In addition to all these counting as 2 characters each, emojis also count as 2 characters each. For example, a smiley emoji will count as 2 characters on Twitter.
The first metric is the Twitter DM character limit. The DM limit is 10,000 characters which is fairly long considering that it uses 10 times as many characters as Instagram does for their DMs.
Using our Characters To Words conversion tool, that would factor out to be an estimated 1538 to 2000 words. To contact someone through a DM simply click on their profile and click the envelope button.
The next metric is the Twitter bio length limit. For this we are limited to 160 characters. 160 characters is the equivalent of about 25 to 32 words. This is where you can put a few details about who you are.
After that the next metric is your Twitter username character limit. The username character limit is 15 characters. This is also what Twitter uses as your URL. For example once you choose your username you can go to twitter.com/yourUsername.
The last metric on our Twitter counter is the profile name and it is limited to 50 characters. This is typically your first and last name or can be a nickname or really just any name that identifies you.
One difference between the profile name and username besides the length difference is that the username cannot be changed but the profile name can be changed anytime you like.
There are 280 characters in a tweet. Paste your text above to see if it fits the 280 character limit.
Yes, Twitter includes spaces and enter keys (also known as a carriage return).
Yes, Twitter does include URLs in the character count.
Yes, Twitter does include hashtags in the character count.
Yes it does, however tweet replies do not.
No, images, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets do not count as characters.
The character limit on twitter is 280 characters.
Yes, each emoji counts as 2 characters on Twitter.
Anyway, we hope you enjoy our Twitter character counter tool. It is very helpful to write a tweet using our tool because it counts exactly how many characters are typed, how many characters are remaining, how many characters in a tweet, the tweet character limit along with all the additional metrics such as Twitter bio limit, Twitter username limit, Twitter hashtag limit, Twitter direct message limit, Twitter profile name limit and Twitter hashtag limit.
Interestingly enough, Twitter does have a character counter tool built into their website but the character counter only shows up when 260 characters have been typed.
Once it gets to 260, it will countdown the last 20 remaining characters. If you typed less than 260 characters there is no character counter. There is however a circle which gets more full with each character typed.
As you can tell our Twitter character count tool is much more helpful to people composing a tweet, and will help you find any Twitter character limit that you need.
If you need a character counter with more features (word count, number of spaces etc.) please use the character counter on our our homepage.