Twitter Says Short Tweets Still The Norm After 280-Character Expansion


One year ago Twitter decided to expand the number of characters per tweet from 140 to 280. This caused a bit of controversy in the tech community. The Twitter purists said allowing Tweets to be longer would ruin the platform, while others welcomed the move.

It turns out it didn’t actually make much of a difference in how people are Tweeting. According to a study conducted by Twitter, the most common length of a Tweet is 35 characters or under.

Only 3% of Tweets worldwide ever exceed 190 characters and only 1% of English speaking Tweets ever reach 280-characters.

One change in Tweeting habits that Twitter did notice is a significant increase in the words “please” and “thank you” in messages and a lot less abbreviations.

Not only have Tweets remained brief, but Twitter says more people are using “please” and “thank you” in their messaging. The company says there has been a 54 percent increase in the use of the word “please” and a 22 percent increase for “thank you” since doubling character limits. 

Fewer abbreviations, but more questions. The company says fewer people are using abbreviations for words like great, before and sorry. Since doubling the character limit, the frequency of the abbreviation “gr8” is down 36 percent, “b4” is down 13 percent, and “sry” is down 5 percent. Meanwhile, the full-spelling of those words are on the rise, with “great” up 32 percent, “before” up 70 percent and “sorry” up 31 percent.

Twitter says it has seen a 30 percent increase in the number of Tweets that include a question mark “?” — which, arguably, is more of a statement on current times than the number of questions being posed.

I’m really surprised by those results. I guess I don’t really pay that much attention to how long my Tweets are, but I would have predicted a lot more people would take advantage of those extra characters.

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