Say Goodbye to a Few More Characters
What are the changes: Twitter’s t.co link service (the service that automatically archives all links shared via Twitter) is requiring extra characters in order to archive the growing number of tweets sent by millions of users each day. This means you’ll have fewer characters to work with when posting a tweet that includes a link – 118 instead of 140. Twitter is just beginning to experiment with this, so it’s entirely possible that most people haven’t even noticed the change yet.
Why this matters: Content creators are already under a lot of pressure to squeeze a lot of content into very little space. As if 140 characters weren’t already difficult to work with, it’s been proven that it is actually best to keep tweets under 100 characters instead, as these receive 17% more engagement than longer posts. Though the change will only affect tweets that include links, it’s important to keep in mind that sharing articles and multimedia in content increases engagement by 86%. In short: Copy should always be short and sweet, and it’s a best practice to share rich multimedia content as much as possible.
How to move forward: The easiest way to manage characters in your tweets is by removing excessively long hashtags, avoiding including Twitter handles of others who are unlikely to engage with you, and thinking about tweets as part of ongoing, sustainable conversations rather than one-time broadcast messages. Putting integrated editorial content calendars in place and using them to look at content on a higher level is a fairly simple means of looking at content creation strategically.
So join us in saying goodbye to a few more of the already-scarce Twitter characters. Even if you haven’t noticed the change yet, or think you won’t miss just a couple more characters, you may start to miss them a whole lot the next time you’re making up new abbreviations and contractions just to make it under the character limit.