Twitter only allows for messages of up to 140 characters, which is about the length of a headline. Bear in mind that your 140 characters includes spaces and everything else, so how can you shorten your tweet to make sure that everything you have to say is contained in those 140 characters? Here are some tricks to do just that.

  • Use a plus sign (+) or ampersand (&) instead of the word “and.”
  • Leave out full stops and other punctuation, especially at the end of a sentence.
  • Use abbreviations where the meaning is clear.
  • Don't include the word “I” and perhaps the verb “to be.”
  • Use numerals instead of writing out the numbers.
  • Try cutting the first few words of a sentence or even the spaces between words.
  • Use a URL shortener such as ow.ly to shorten lengthy web site addresses.
  • Find synonyms for shorter words.
  • Drop vowels from words

Bear in mind that if you're tweeting images, then twitter allows you more than 140 characters. Play around with the composer to find our how much extra that you're allowed.

Using shortcuts like those listed above can help when it’s time to send out those tweets. Try and keep your tweets as short as possible and if you need to use all the 140 characters then make sure you're providing important information.


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Gary Hall Gary Hall is based in East Yorkshire, England, and has a background in education, marketing and technology. This site is a collection of ideas and resources on these topics.