Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How to use the 280 characters per tweet on Twitter!

Christoph Trappe

November 11, 2017

Social media

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In early November 2017, Twitter announced that it would now allow everyone to tweet up to 280 characters vs. the traditional 140. I now have the feature but not yet on all my Twitter platforms. Two out of five worked in my test. Desktop and SocialOomph worked. Twitter app and Hootsuite app not yet. Three days after the change, Twitter sharing from the Jetpack plugin on WordPress blogs (at least this one) was still counting down from 140.

On desktop, the character counting has totally gone away and has been replaced by a circle that slowly completes until you are out of characters. I actually found it quite hard to write a 280-character tweet. Seems long. Twitter also said that most tweets were still below 140 characters in their test anyway but that this change gives people some leeway when writing tweets and eliminates editing when tweets were slightly too long.

As of initial writing, I was not able to post more than 140 characters from the mobile app and there was no update yet available in the App store. I use SocialOomph to schedule many tweets and that platform also allows me now to upload tweets longer than 140 characters.

It started working under an hour later and the app experience is similar to desktop.

The mobile Hootsuite app still counted down from 140 characters the morning after the Nov. 7, 2017, announcement.

Chances are that if your personal or brand account don’t have the 280-character functionality you will have it shortly here.

But should brands be posting longer tweets now?

Well, the same thing I’ve said before about story length applies: Give the story the length it needs and now that can be twice as long as it used to be on Twitter. It might also make approval processes simpler. I’ve seen projects before where the writers would send over a 140-character tweet and the approvers/legal/editors/etc. would edit away and add a few words. If that’s the case now, unless they go wild and add a lot or the words don’t work on social media, those edits might still work and be fine. Up to now, they wouldn’t. So that could make this part easier.

But please, don’t just fill twice the space because you know can!

Also don’t add more links because there’s more space.

Use it wisely when necessary and when it actually helps the story!

Should we do one long paragraph in tweets?


I find some longer 280-character tweets hard to read.

I think it’s because they are just one long paragraph.

And we all know nobody reads like that online.

But see paragraphs work in tweets! Just push ENTER. 😱😊

Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph

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