Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: February 22, 2013 5:20 pm

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Twitter’s Character Catastrophe


As many tweeps would have found out last Wednesday, either by blogs or first-hand experience. Twitter has revised the “rules” of tweeting when using links of one kind or another. Apparently the cause of this reduction is due to a change in Twitter’s t.co link wrapper.

How It Works

By adding a link to your tweet, you reduce your character limit down to 118/117 characters, depending on the type of link that you use, be it http or https. This will usually be used to explain the link and in the case of social media marketers, be used to entice a follower into clicking the link. After a little experimentation I can deduct that it does not matter how long the Url is. Try it for yourself, add a Url of your choice into the “post a tweet” section (preferably one that’s already been shortened), now add some random characters to the link. Your number of remaining characters should stay the same.

What Does This Mean

Well in some cases, you are actually missing out on characters, some bit.ly and t.co links are short enough for you to be losing a maximum of 2 characters. However it’s not all doom and gloom, I wanted to share an article from Mashable and noticed that I had 2 extra characters that I would have had.

It is easy to state why this loss of 2 characters is a problem, as a lot of businesses find it difficult to write an effective tweet, let alone in 118 characters, but in the long run, quite a few links will actually be at a slight advantage, and that advantage is only as significant as the disadvantage in this scenario. If you’re not buzzed about the pros, you shouldn’t really be bothered about losing 2 characters.

This structured method to tweets referring to external sources could actually help businesses learn how to make the most of the space that they have. As we all know it can be a task to get the attention of users on Twitter, due to its’ “here and now” approach, so it is more important now than ever to make each character count.

Lewis Austin

Lewis Austin

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