More retweets and likes for tweets above 140 characters

Social media analysis firm SocialFlow is bringing a dose of reality to the whining that so-called Twitter “purists” do not want to believe: people want to engage more with tweets that have more than 140 characters in them.

Since the platform raised its character limit to 280 per tweet, SocialFlow took a sample of 30,000 of them made from November 29 for a week. It found that longer posts got about as many click-throughs, two-thirds more likes and twice as many retweets as the bits with 140 characters or less.

Sexual harassment and other such heady topics have warranted longer tweets. If a tweet thread is needed, each post will have enough room for a single idea with fewer that follow otherwise on a 140-character limit. Fewer tweets in a thread mean that there’s less scrolling and fewer diversions that discourage people from reading more.

Twitter’s own data indicated that 9 percent of English tweets hit the 140 limit while it was still around and that only 1 percent of tweets now hit the new barrier. Only 2 percent of all messages used 190 characters or more. Keep in mind that while URLs still take 23 characters, other media like pictures, polls and the like don’t count toward the limit anymore.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.