Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) users prefer longer tweets to short ones, according to new research. Data from SocialFlow, a social publishing tool, shows that since Twitter expanded its character limit to 280 from the original 140 in November, users have been retweeting, liking and clicking on posts more than they did before. The report shows that longer tweets are getting two times more attention than short tweets. After running a trial with a few Twitter users, the company universally rolled out the new 280 characters limit in November.
Going by this early research, it seems the change has been well embraced. Before the expansion, critics argued that longer tweets might strain the attention spans of Twitter users who have been accustomed to reading tweets composed of 140 characters or less. In September, Twitter experimented the 280 character limit with a small number of its users, amid derision from critics who disliked the idea.
From November 26 to December 6, SocialFlow analyzed clicks, likes and retweets from approximately 30000 tweets to come up with the report. Preliminary results showed that longer tweets, made up of more than 140 characters, were retweeted 26.52 times while short tweets were on average retweeted 13.71 times. At the same time, longer tweets enjoyed more likes than their short counterparts. According to the analysis, tweets with 140 or more characters were liked 50.28 times while short tweets gained 29.96 likes.
SocialFlow co-founder, Frank Speiser, said if tweets could attract people with the first few words, the analysis shows that people could read the whole post. SocialFlow’s research matches Twitter’s internal data that shows that longer tweets were getting more attention than the original short tweets. Though a blog post, Twitter said that long tweets got more followers and spent more time on the social network.
The social network has over 330 million users.