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Twitter Doubling its Character Limit from 140 to 280 Has Not Led to Longer Tweets

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Twitter Doubling its Character Limit from 140 to 280 Has Not Led to Longer Tweets
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A year after Twitter doubled its character limit from 140 to 280, data shows users are being more polite, using fewer abbreviations, and replying to more tweets.

More Polite Users

The use of polite sentiments is way up since the character limit increase.

Data shows that 54% more tweets use the word “please,” while the use of “thank you” is up 22%.

Fewer Abbreviations

The ability to tweet more characters has led to a decline of abbreviations and an increase of the full-length words.

  • Usage of “gr8” is down 36%, while “great” is up 32%
  • Usage of “b4 is down 13%, while “before is up 70%
  • Usage of “sry” is down 5%, while “sorry” is up 31%

More Replies and Engagement

Replies to tweets are reportedly on the rise, although the exact increase in tweet replies was not provided in the data.

It’s possible that there are more replies because users are asking more questions – 30% more tweets include a question more.

Tweets Are Not Getting Longer on Average

Curiously enough, the character limit increase has not led to longer tweets for the most part.

The most common length of tweets in English is 33 characters, which is actually one less character than before the change.

In fact, only 12% of English language tweets are longer than 140 characters. Just 1% of tweets hit the 280-character limit.

Looking at data across all languages, 6% of tweets are longer than 140 characters.

Here is a collection of tweets that were recently published that support the above statistics.

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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