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Twitter Users Drop Text Speak

Paul Rubens - October 30, 2018 - 10:37 AM
Twitter Users Drop Text Speak
Tweets now contain less abbreviations, but they have not got significantly longer.

(CCM) — Twitter's decision to increase the character limit of Tweets from 140 to 280 last year has had an unintended consequence: users are abandoning the use of "text speak" abbreviations such as "gr8" and "b4" and instead spelling out words in full.


The use of "gr8 " is down 36%, "b4" by 13%, and "sry" by 5%, according to a TechCrunch report quoting Twitter data. Conversely the use of "great" is up 32%, "before" up 70%, and "sorry" up 31%.

But increasing the character limit has not led to significantly longer Tweets, as was intended. In fact only 1% of Tweets come up against the 280 character limit, and only 12% are longer than the old limit of 140 characters.

When the character limit was 140, the most common length for a Tweet was just 34 characters. Now that the limit has been raised to 280, the most common Tweet length has actually fallen, to 33%.

Twitter users also appear to have become more polite. The use of "please" has increased by 54%, and the use of "thank you" by 22%. But the report points out that these words may be used humorously or sarcastically, so it is hard to say definitively that Twitter users have become better mannered.

Image: © Denys Prykhodov - Shutterstock.com
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