The early verdict is in: Our latest data shows that people are retweeting and liking longer tweets (>140 characters) almost 2X more than shorter ones.
Twitter rolled out their expansion to the general public in early November of this year. The company said that the decision for longer tweets came from the realization of the message limitations languages such as English, Spanish, or French may have compared to others such as Japanese, Korean, and Chinese whose language structure is able to convey more information per character. The announcement triggered many users who believed that Twitter’s claim to fame was the overall brevity of the messages.
Our original question was focused on the longer tweet affect on click-through rates – “If tweets hold more information due to the character increase, would people be more or less likely click on the provided link to continue reading the article?”
The data parameters: 30,000 publisher tweets that included links between November 29 – December 6.
The results: The click-through rate was roughly equal for both tweet length types but overall engagement nearly doubled for longer tweets. On tweets containing 141-280 characters, the average retweet was a staggering 26.52% – compared the 13.71% for tweets with 0-140 characters. For likes, tweets containing 141-280 characters had an average of a whopping 50.28%, compared to 0-140’s 26.96%.
Despite the massive backlash from users who were initially against the longer tweet movement, Twitter’s data from their 280-character testing period coincides with our early general population data: Tweeters actually like longer tweets more.
“If a tweet can hook you in the first few words, we’ll read all of it,” said Frank Speiser, co-founder of SocialFlow.
This data has been featured on multiple online sources:
BuzzFeed: Twitter Users Like Long Tweets More Than Short Ones
CNET: We actually like 280-character tweets, it turns out
NY Mag: People Seem to Be Enjoying Longer Tweets
Business Insider: Longer tweets get higher engagement