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Typical tweet shorter since character length doubled

/ 04:37 PM October 31, 2018
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Twitter on Tuesday confirmed that a year after doubling the character limit for tweets, the average length of messages fired off in English actually got a smidge shorter. Image: hocus-focus / Istock.com

Twitter on Tuesday confirmed that a year after doubling the character limit for tweets, the average length of messages fired off in English actually got a smidge shorter.

The news promised to allay concerns that raising the character limit from 140 to 280 last year would ruin Twitter’s succinct comment style and lead to rants, rambles and diatribes.

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“We made this change because we want every person around the world to express themselves easily in a Tweet,” Twitter said in response to an AFP inquiry.

“Our goal was to make this possible while ensuring we keep the speed and brevity that makes Twitter, Twitter.”

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The typical length of a tweet in English actually dropped by a character to 33, according to the San Francisco-based service.

Twitter said users were also more inclined to type “please” or “thank you” and more likely to use complete words instead of abbreviations.

Only about one percent of tweets hit the 280-character limit, while just 12 percent topped 140 characters, the original cap, according to Twitter.

This data was for tweets in English, but the findings were consistent across the world in seven languages analyzed by Twitter, according to the company.

Since the character limit was raised, Twitter also began letting people string together tweets as threads.

Expanding the character limit was aimed at luring new users, but some of the social network’s passionate loyalists feared the change would strip it of its unique appeal. NVG

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