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How Many Characters in a Tweet: Do Spaces and Emojis Count?

Duane Columbres

Mar 21, 2024 10 mins read
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Knowing how many characters in a tweet makes it easy to plan your posts. How often did you hit backspace to ensure it doesn’t cross the character limit? You spend more time making edits instead of expressing yourself clearly. Although these limitations force you to check the character count, it does help with your creativity.

However, the social media platform underwent significant changes after Elon Musk became its CEO. He introduced Twitter Blue to give users the blue checkmark and exclusive features. Did this change affect the character limit, and are there other things you should know? Let’s take a closer look and learn everything about character counts on Twitter.

An iPhone with the Twitter app open, placed on a wooden table next to a cup of coffee.

How Many Characters in a Tweet: Do Spaces and Emojis Count?

As per the latest update on how many characters are in a tweet, every post has a 280-character limit. Does this mean you can have up to 280 words in your post? Not really, as characters have different meanings in the social media domain.

You can think of characters as units of information you enter into the machine. Any English alphabet in a tweet counts as a character. For example, Twitter counts the alphabet ‘a’ as a single character. If you were to enter ‘ab,’ the platform considers it as two.

You can think of it as all the alphabets, numbers, and special characters you use in the tweet. One thing to remember is that Twitter also considers spaces as a character.

Well, what if you use emojis in your tweet? Well, this also adds to the character count in your post.

Here’s a simple example to help you understand how the platform counts characters. The previous sentence has 70 characters without spaces. As highlighted earlier, spaces also matter, which takes it to 82 characters. It also includes all the punctuation in the sentence.

However, Twitter didn’t always have a 280-character limit. When the social media platform launched on March 21, 2006, the max length was 140 characters. Think about how short you’ve to keep your tweets.

The reason for this limit was that the platform was an SMS service. Texts or SMS allowed 160 characters. The remaining 20 characters were for usernames and commands. In 2017, the platform increased it to 280 characters for Twitter users.

Person scrolling through Twitter on their iPhone.

Breaking Down How Many Characters in a Tweet

Not every alphabet, number, or special character is a single character. How many characters in a tweet differs depending on what you use in the post. The topic may seem complex, but it’s easy to grasp once you understand the nuances.

A white mechanical keyboard showing all the alphabets, numbers, and special characters.

Single Character Count

Every alphabet from the Western European languages is a single character. Whether you use “A, a, à, â, å, æ, ä or ã,” Twitter counts it as a single character.

What about punctuations like “, . ; : ‘?” Including quotation marks, every punctuation is a single character to the social media platform.

For languages like Arabic, you have to read them from left to right. When using the Arabic alphabet, there is a hidden marker. It lets the platform know how to display the text accurately. 

Again, Twitter considers this marker as a single character.

Double Character Count

However, English is not the only language people speak in the United States. How many characters are in a tweet in Asian languages like Japanese, Korean, and Chinese? In this case, Twitter gives their letters a weightage of 2.

As a result, this reduces the 280-character limit to 140. However, you’d be surprised how much you can convey despite these limitations.

These days, people also include a variety of emojis in their tweets. Irrespective of the emoji’s skin tone (🧑, 🧑🏽 or 🧑🏿) or gender (👨‍🦰 or 👩🏼‍🦰), it counts as two per emoji. Also, emojis like 👨‍👩‍👦, which is a combination of several emojis, are still two per use.

What if you want to include a link, let’s say to your blog? In this case, any link you add to your tweet takes up 23 characters. If the link has more than 23 characters, Twitter will automatically shorten the length to 23, using its link shortener service. For links with less than 23 characters, the platform still considers the URL as 23.

What Doesn’t Count Toward How Many Characters in a Tweet

Regarding how many characters are in a tweet, Twitter doesn’t always count everything. If you attach media to your posts, like a photo or video, they don’t count. What about quoting other users’ tweets or including polls? Like media, it doesn’t add to the character count. However, you have to use the official Twitter client.

There are times when you want to reply to a user’s tweet. In this case, Twitter includes the username in your post. Fortunately, this also doesn’t change the character count.

Let’s say you don’t reply to a user’s tweet but create a new post. You tag the user in this tweet. In this case, the platform adds the username to the character count. 

How to Tweet Longer Than 280 Characters in 2023?

You may want to go beyond the tweet character limit for several reasons. For example, you’re covering a live event and want to post updates throughout the event. Or you want to create a comprehensive tweet covering all the talking points. Since you know how many characters are in a tweet, how do you get around this?

Here are five creative ways to overcome Twitter’s 280-character limit:

Forget How Many Characters Are in a Tweet With Twitter Blue

Twitter Blue is Elon Musk’s solution to increasing the social media platform’s revenue. By becoming a subscriber, you get access to several features. One of them is having up to 10,000 characters in your tweet.

It’s not necessary that this feature is only available for new posts. Whether you’re replying to another Twitter user or quoting their tweet, Twitter Blue increases the max character length to 10,000. Remember how polls and media don’t add to character count? The same rules apply as a subscriber, meaning you can express yourself freely.

There are a few things to remember if you want to subscribe to Twitter Blue.

  • Your account must be older or active for more than 30 days.
  • You need an active phone number.
  • There shouldn’t be any changes to your display name, profile photo and username for at least three days. 

However, use a note app or software to draft these tweets. Currently, you can’t schedule them or save them as drafts, like regular tweets. Also, you can’t change your display name, profile photo and username.

If you do so, you’ll lose access to the subscription for at least three days. Twitter Blue costs $8 monthly if you’re using the web version. The subscription fee for Android and iOS devices is $11 a month.

A person opening the Twitter app on their Android smartphone.

Twitter Threads Increase How Many Characters Are in a Tweet

What if you don’t want to subscribe to Twitter Blue? Understandable as you may not use all the features, or it isn’t feasible. Fortunately, the social media platform has a free feature to increase character usage.

Known as Twitter Threads, it allows you to create and post multiple tweets in one go. Or, you can post a single tweet and add several posts under it as threads. Here’s what you can do to get around how many characters are in a tweet:

  1. Open Twitter on your laptop, desktop, or smartphone.
  2. Craft your tweet. Don’t forget; it has to be within 280 characters.
  3. Tap on the Plus (+) icon to start the thread. If you’re using a laptop or desktop, it’s left of the Tweet button. For mobile users, it’s on the bottom right section of the screen.
  4. Continue typing your tweet. You can create as many Twitter threads as you like.
  5. Tap on Tweet All when you’re ready to post.

If you’ve already posted a tweet, don’t worry. Follow these steps to add a thread to your post:

  1. Find the tweet you want to create a thread.
  2. Tap on the Reply icon.
  3. Start typing your tweet.
  4. If you want to add more posts, select the Plus (+) icon.
  5. Tap Tweet All after reviewing your posts.

Remember, you can always continue the thread by selecting Add Another Tweet.

Third-Party Tools Ignore How Many Characters Are in a Tweet

Twitter Threads aren’t enough to get around how many characters are in a tweet. Third-party apps like TwitLonger and Tall Tweets are excellent options. Go for TwitLonger if you are only looking to create text-heavy tweets. It doesn’t allow you to add media like gifs, pictures and videos to your posts.

Also, when using TwitLonger, pay attention to the first 100 characters. These characters are visible in your tweet. When users want to read the entire post, it redirects them outside Twitter.

As a result, users cannot interact with your tweet. Tall Tweets is different as it focuses on media instead of text. You can convert Google Slides documents into supported media files like Gifs and videos.

Twitter app icon on a smartphone.

Screenshots Circumvent How Many Characters in a Tweet

Although there are limitations to how many characters are in a tweet, there is a simple workaround. Use any note-taking app and jot down your tweet beyond the 280-character count.

After completing this task, take a screenshot and tweet it to your account. Depending on the content length, you may have to crop the screenshot into multiple images.

Get Around the 280-Character Limit With Twitter Notes

If you want to share blog-like content, Twitter Notes is your answer. One downside is that it is in the testing phase. In other words, you may need access to this feature. Also, it is only available on the web version.

Go to your Twitter account and see if you see Write in the tab. If yes, select Write and start typing away.

Like a blog post, Twitter Notes has a title for your content. You can add a header image, which is the cover picture. It allows you to include media like photos, gifs and tweets. Basic text formatting features include adding bullet points and making specific text bold.

Other Twitter users don’t need access to this feature to read your notes. Even if users don’t follow you, they only need the link to access your content. Users need not log in to their Twitter account to view your post. 

Twitter Notes allows you to include up to 2,500 characters in the body. In the title, there’s leeway for up to 100 characters.

Now, if you restrict access to your tweets, the same rules apply to Twitter Notes. However, it is no longer restricted if your followers share the Note card. Anyone who clicks on the link can view your content.

A screenshot of the Twitter home page from an Apple device.

Importance of How Many Characters in a Tweet

As highlighted above, you can see why knowing how many characters in a tweet is useful. You can plan your post and ensure you get your message across clearly. Although there is a significant increase in character usage with Twitter Blue, it’s not for everyone. Twitter Threads, Notes, taking screenshots or using third-party tools are better alternatives. 

Deleting all your old tweets makes sense, even if you’re not a public figure. Why?

  • Hackers got into your account and tweeted inappropriate content several times.
  • Ideas or thoughts you posted are no longer relevant to current times.
  • You’re applying for a job where recruiters will scrutinize your social media activity.
  • You shared personal details.
  • You want to go off the grid for a while but don’t want to deactivate your account.

In these cases, finding these posts is a time-consuming and frustrating process. What if you have to remove hundreds of tweets? Instead of doing it manually, use TweetDelete custom filters and bulk delete to simplify this process. Start spring cleaning and remove all the cobwebs from your Twitter timeline today!

Duane Columbres

The TweetDelete team is dedicated to helping users take control of their digital footprints. With expertise in social media management and online privacy, the team provides practical solutions and insightful guides to help users manage and delete their old tweets effortlessly.

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