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Social media influencing

What are the character limits on social media sites?

Social media influencing

What are the character limits on social media sites?

Social media is usually known for its brevity. While blogs and forums allow users to put together what may be seen as either a well-structured argument or a long-winded rant, the convention on social media is usually to communicate, comment and react with a more restrained use of words.

If you do want to cram a bit more text into your posts and tweets though, what’s the maximum you can do? Here are the answers to that question for three of the most popular social media sites.

Twitter

One of the many reasons why Twitter has been in the news so much since the Elon Musk takeover is the constant talk of a revised character limit per tweet.

Traditionally, Twitter was known as a “microblogging” website and initially had a limit of just 140 characters per tweet. This was consistent with the limit for an old-fashioned SMS text message on what would today be seen as a “dumbphone”. In 2018, this was doubled to 280, which remains the limit for free Twitter account holders today.

However, Twitter Blue subscribers were given a whopping 4,000 characters per tweet to play with as of February this year. Last month, Musk decided even that wasn’t enough and subscribers can now compose 10,000-character opuses. To put that into perspective, that’s somewhere between six and eight pages typed in size 12 Times New Roman font.

Despite Twitter’s new obsession with length, statistics suggest the most effective tweets remain within the original 140-character limit, with ones between 71 and 110 characters likely to get the most retweets.

Instagram

Though usually thought of as the most visual and image-based social media site, Instagram allows for rather generous wordage. A 2,200-character limit applies for Instagram, which should be more than enough to complement your photos or graphics.

Facebook

The social media platform that permits the most rambling is Facebook. Users can post up to 63,206 characters, which would be more than enough for a short story or self-help book.

If you’re thinking 63,206 seems an unusual figure to land upon, there’s a nerdy and cryptic reason for it that you’ll either find brilliant, baffling or boring. Most programmers and web developers will be familiar with the hexadecimal counting system, perhaps best known for providing the hex codes for colours. In this system, the letters A to F replace the numbers 10 to 16, so the decimal number 64,206 is represented by the word FACE. Meanwhile, especially when talking about finance, the letter K can be used to represent the number 1,000. If we take the word “boo” to mean minus, then “FACE boo K” = 63,206.

On a simpler note, if you’re looking to make sure your posts aren’t too long for Twitter or Instagram before you post them, Character Counter is a useful site for this.

For other ways to connect with your audience on social media, speak to Engage Web, or why not sign up for our next Social Media & Content Masterclass?

John Murray

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