Twitter Shortens Tweets with a URL by 2 Characters

Pam Moore Owner/Partner, Marketing Nutz, LLC

Posted on February 21st 2013

Twitter Shortens Tweets with a URL by 2 Characters

twitter shortened tweets by two characters

For those Twitter peeps who like to tweet urls: your tweets are going to get shorter.

Starting today, any tweet that includes a url will now be reduced by 2 characters. This takes it to 118 characters, or 117 for https links. This was first announced to the Twitter development community by Twitter in December. It’s just now being implemented and goes live today.

Such change is a result of Twitter’s link wrapper. Since it extends the maximum length of a link wrapped by from 20 to 22 characters for non-https URLs, and from 21 to 23 characters for https lengths, you now have less tweet landscape to work with.

For those new to Twitter or who don’t tweet a lot, it may not seem like a lot to you. However, for those who have been around the Twitter block, you know 2 characters can change a tweet considering we only have 140 total characters to work with anyway! Anyone who knows me -- a woman of many words, characters and tweets -- will know that I am not too happy with this change.

All applications that leverage the wrapped lengths will now have to accomodate the new lengths.

When Twitter users post a link within a tweet, Twitter automatically wraps the link in their own proprietary wrapper ( This happens even if another url shortener is used such as and others. Twitter supports this method as they believe it helps keep the Twitter ecosystem safe and helps avoid computer viruses. There are obviously key benefits to them being able to track all urls for watching trends and enabling future monetization on such data in the future.

Do you think this change will impact how and what you tweet? Do you use the shortener or a different one? Why do you use the shortener you use?

My opinion: I wish Twitter would figure out how to give us two characters instead of taking two away. What’s your 2 cents?


Pam Moore

Owner/Partner, Marketing Nutz, LLC

Half marketing, half geek, social media addict, CEO & Founder of Marketing Nutz @MktgNutz, entrepreneur, speaker, trainer, coach. Lover of strategy, ROI, Brand, God, Family, Friends, Beach & Life! 15+ years of experience helping small startups to Fortune 100 companies, budgets teeny tiny to big in both B2B and B2C markets build brand awareness, grow new markets, develop communities and master ROI across all mediums! Industries of expertise include high technology, non-profit & fundraising, green eco-friendly, enterprise data storage, professional services and storage management, real estate and home building, natural lighting, database analytics & modeling, online marketing, as well as web 2.0 ecommerce for online retailers.

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Posted on February 20th 2013 at 8:41PM

Do you know how many changes of this nature Twitter has made in the past? This is the only change to the basic tweeting functionality I can remember off the top of my head. Thanks for sharing this... you saved me a lot of confusion from my next visit to HootSuite.

Posted on February 21st 2013 at 5:34AM

Thanks for this - time to go into Hootsuite and check all the scheduled posts! I have to say that Twitter isn't as bad for making frequent, unnecessary changes as some other social networks can be. I refer to Facebook, of course.

This Twitter change does seem to be limiting, however. 140 characters should mean 140 characters. In an ideal world, the URL would not count as part of the character limit.

Rudy Luna
Posted on February 21st 2013 at 10:19AM

I'm in the boat with you! One of the biggest parts of my job is using Twitter to promote our company's events, and I do that by including a to our event websites. Thanks for the news. I agree with Ahmed Ahmed, 140 characters should mean 140 characters, links excluded. 

Posted on February 21st 2013 at 1:50PM

I don't know if I like this or not either.  With Twitter small real estate to update on, it's hard enough to mimimize tweets as it is now.  But I believe the end result will be the survival of the marketers that can handle this change by effectively adapting to its new style.

Heck, things are gonna change, and there's nothing we can do to stop've either got to roll with it or go home.