Have you ever wondered why Twitter has a 140-character limit? Have you ever wished it was bigger? We’re going to help clarify the reason for the limit and teach you how to say more on Twitter (without actually saying more).
To understand how to utilize Twitter’s character limit, you must first understand why it exists in the first place. The origin of the 140 character-limit traces back to the company’s roots. Founded in March 2006, Twittr (Twitter’s original name) was born. The app originated as a way to send text messages to all of your friends. To prevent the texts from spilling over into multiple messages, the 140-character limit was set in place. Although text messages have a 160-character limit, the 140 limit was chosen to allow 20 characters for users’ handles.
You may be wondering why Twitter still has the character limit, since it is now not based via text message. Twitter is a platform that distinguishes itself by being used for quick, frequent status updates. The purpose of Twitter is to get the information you are looking for without having to sift through unnecessary ‘fluff’. Twitter, although accessible via computer, is predominately used on mobile phones. The character limit allows users to send a quick message and see what their friends are up to without having to read paragraphs of information.
Although you may find the 140-character limit to be restrictive sometimes, consider posting anything longer to Facebook or a blog. Twitter is meant to be short and sweet, and utilizing the platform as it was intended is vital for your marketing efforts. So how can you get the most out of 140 characters?
Luckily, earlier this year Twitter started excluding replies (@name when replying to a Tweet) and media attachments from contributing towards the 140-character limit. Although this helps, 140 characters is still a relatively small space to send a message. We’re going to help you get the most out of your Tweets without having to sound like a 15-year-old girl (think: how r u 2day?).
The first thing we recommend doing is having a new Tweet for each separate thought. Because Twitter is a ‘real-time’ platform, multiple Tweets in one day are acceptable and you don’t have to put all of your thoughts in one message. Our second tip is to avoid unnecessary explanation or ‘fluff’ words. There’s no need for introductions or explanations – just make your point, and leave it at that. You should also limit your hashtag usage. We recommend a maximum of three hashtags with precise keywords. If you’re sending out a link, be sure to shorten it in a platform such as bit.ly so the URL doesn’t take up unnecessary character space. Another tip is to make your content interesting. 140 characters is not a lot, and it is easy for people to scroll past something when browsing Twitter. Make your Tweets count. Use compelling language and craft a Tweet that people want to read. It shouldn’t take more than 140 characters to get your message across. Keep it simple, but worth reading.
Try these tips out on Twitter, and let us know how they’re working! If you need further assistance, contact us today!