****Editorial Note: Twitter recently changed their platform and pictures no longer count towards your character count. I recommend reading Why The Twitters Photo Count Update Matters to Bloggers for additional information.
Confession time – I’m becoming a bit of a Twitter junkie. I detested it at first but started an account because all the blogging experts recommended it. I guess I’m a bit of a follower at heart.
Once I actually started using Twitter and saw an increase in traffic my tune changed pretty quickly. Now, I have three Twitter accounts that I utilize for my various sites.
I’m definitely not an expert, but I’m starting to notice a few things that have changed the way I Tweet.
One of my big aha moments came when I read Adrian Jock’s recent post “Twitter Myth: URL Shorteners Save Space – Busted!” Adrian got it straight from the Twitter Help Center – “A URL of any length will be altered to 22 characters, even if the link itself is less then 22 characters long. Your character count will reflect this.”
Who knew – my Bitly links weren’t actually saving me space. I still love Bitly for tracking purposes, but am no longer fooling myself into thinking it saves me space. Editorial note: Check out my post on why I don’t use Bitly anymore.
I’m a photo person and am trying to incorporate more visual into my Twitter stream. So my next step was to question how many characters a photo took. I searched high and low and wasn’t able to find this information.
After coming up short, I decided to do a few experiments.
As I’m sure you can expect my experiment was very simple. I added a few photos to Tweets and then counted the difference.
Every photo takes 22 characters.
Is this earth shattering no, but it is important to note that when tweeting both a link and a photo you are using a minimum of 44 characters leaving you only 96 characters to convey your message. Please note that https sites use an additional character for the link leaving you with 95 characters.
Twitter is essentially creating a link for the photo which means it has the same character length as a regular link.
Twitter engagement increases dramatically with photos in every study I’ve read, so the use of visual media can make a huge difference in your engagement.
Buffer ran tests with their app and found the following statistics for tweets with images:
- Tweets with images received 89% more favorites
- Tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without
- Tweets with images received 150% more retweets
Personally I think that in most cases the use of visuals is worth the decrease in characters, particularly if my artwork contains some form of verbiage.
You have to be the one who decides if visuals are worth the loss of characters for your specific posts.
If you are interested in following me on Twitter I can be found under the following handles:
@digmediaedu – I tweet about social media, business and blogging.
@amysdailyliving – This is for my personal blog which is a lifestyle blog with a strong emphasis on personal finance.
@campingedu – This is my newest blog and focuses on my outdoor adventures and traveling. I started it today and only have four followers (two of them are my other two profiles), so please feel bad for me and start following me.