Most of us will likely be aware of Twitter. It’s one of the most widely used social media platforms and is very popular among those in the public eye, such as celebrities, sports stars and journalists.
Many of Twitter’s users will Tweet on a regular basis, but it doesn’t take long to realize that there’s only so many characters you can fit in a Tweet – meaning there’s only so many words you can fit in a Tweet.
Since 2017, you are limited to 280 characters for a Tweet, which is about 55 words if you assume the average word length dynamic, as shown in the research.
However, this will not always be the case and there’s more to it than just this.
This guide will examine how to format your Tweets using a word count, the best way to Tweet and lots more handy information.
Read on to learn more.
What Is A Tweet?
Before we go any further, it’s probably best that we explain what Tweeting is for those who are unaware.
In short, a Tweet is a social media post using the platform of Twitter. It’s Twitter’s version of a Facebook post.
The significant difference between Twitter’s post system and Facebook’s is the number of characters you can use.
Before 2017, the limit was 140 characters – and this caused significant trouble for certain users.
As a result, Twitter upped the character limit from 140 characters to 280 characters.
This, of course, gives you the ability to write more words – but there’s still a limit, which can still be troublesome.
Why Is The Character Limit A Problem?
The limit on the amount of characters on Twitter can be problematic for many types of users, but this is especially true for those who wish to write long posts.
Journalists for example will have trouble reporting things in such a short format.
The solution for this problem for users is something known as threads.
This is essentially a group of Tweets which the author will number and create a flow of Tweets to get their points across.
The Limits To Your Words
If we are going by the research as linked earlier, then we assume that we can write about 55 words per Tweet.
This might be useful for some types of Tweets, but you will need to know how you can format this and the most effective way to Tweet.
Effective Tweeting Word Count
Knowing the best way to Tweet can make a huge difference for some users – especially if you are trying to increase your reach and overall audience.
According to Buddy Media, Tweets that contain less than 100 characters will receive 17% more engagement than Tweets over this number.
The assumption for this rationale is that shorter Tweets are much more likely to be read in their entirety.
So, let’s go by this data. This means you will be writing a Tweet of between 14 and 25 words.
Now, as you may imagine – this can be a little difficult as it is (in our example) less than half of the maximum.
How would you write an effective Tweet using this word count then? Well, there is where threads come in – as we mentioned previously.
Remember, Tweeting, to get the maximum reach and engagement as possible, will almost always be about readability.
To maximize this further and keep with the limits – let’s examine the hashtags.
Effective Hashtag Word Count
Using hashtags can be a very effective way to boost your engagement and entice a larger audience, especially if the hashtag itself is already trending, which makes your Tweet much easier to find.
However, studies suggest that the most effective hashtag length is about 6 characters and only contains the keyword.
Let’s assume then that you’re not using an already trending hashtag.
If you are Tweeting about reading a book for example, an ideal hashtag would be #books.
This is using 5 characters and uses only the keyword required.
What Are The Maximum Limits On Twitter?
Other than Tweets themselves, there are limits to the number of characters you can use on all of the platform.
Below, we’ve listed all of the areas you can use and included their limits.
- A Tweet – 280 characters
- A DM (direct message) – 10,000 characters
- Your profile bio – 160 characters
- A handle – 15 characters
Should I Go To The Limit?
In reality, it will depend on what you are using Twitter for. However, it’s recommended that you try to remain as concise as possible when you’re making a Tweet.
As we mentioned, the best way to get your points across is by improving readability and making anything you write as friendly to readers as possible.
This process goes well beyond Twitter, but Twitter is actually a good way to practice making your points as concise as possible.
However, depending on what you may be using Twitter for – you may decide to create threads.
While it is still better to shorten your threads as much as possible per Tweet, it may be required to maximize the word (characters) count.
Will Twitter Increase The Character Limit Again?
It’s entirely possible. Twitter has increased its character limits a few times now, and news reports suggest that Twitter is trialing something new.
The new system will allow for users to write posts with a maximum of 2,500 words.
This will make a significant difference to the platform, because many people will remain on Twitter rather than looking elsewhere (like Facebook) for more space.
How Should I Write A Tweet? (Word Limit)
As we mentioned, you will want to write a Tweet with 100 characters or less to maximize your engagement – but if you’re not too worried about engagement, then it’s up to you!
It’s recommended though that you try to reduce your characters when writing words to write the ideal Tweet. You may be wondering how this would work – there’s some ways to do this.
- The use of emojis can act as a character(s). This can reduce your overall character count, and therefore your overall word count
- You can use letters or numbers instead of words to reduce your word count
- Use acronyms when you can – assuming they are well known acronyms
Planning Your Format
Before you start typing out your Tweet, you should consider planning it. Much like any other story telling, you should think about a start, main body and end.
This is much more difficult when you are restrained to a certain number of characters, but as long as you remain to the point and provide the main information – you can always add more by using the thread tactic.
Some users even decide to employ both. They will preface their thread explaining that it will be lengthy, and then after several Tweets will give a shorter version known as TLDR (too long didn’t read).
The Bottom Line
As a rule of thumb, a Tweet is limited to 55 words. However, you will want to make this shorter if you want to maximize your engagement and efficacy.
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