Constraints, while at times frustrating, can make us more creative. This is indeed the case with Twitter’s 140 character limit — and though we're used to it by now, sometimes, you just need to break free. If you're feeling the itch to expand your tweets, there are quite a few Twitter tricks that can help you work around Twitter's imposed limitations. Having these hacks up your sleeve will give you more options when it comes to expressing yourself. Plus, with everything going on in the world right now, we need every tool at our disposal to properly live tweet that drama.
The short, 140-character message format dates back to the time of Twitter’s founding in 2006 — and it actually nothing to do with harnessing creativity. Modeled to be the "the SMS of the internet," Twitter chose for its tweets to be approximately the same length as text messages, so users could receive a complete tweet in a single text. Of course, most of us do not text our tweets anymore, thanks to the wonders of smartphones, so this limit is a little outmoded.
But Twitter has also done its part in recent updates to give users more ways in which to express themselves with 140 characters. So go ahead, be a social media rebel. You know what they say: rules are meant to be broken.
1. Use A Screenshot To Include More Text
Not every tweet should be a monologue, but sometimes you need to share a block of text within the body of your tweet to get your point across. The easiest way to cram more text into your snappy tweet is by including a screenshot of it. Take a screencap of the text you wish to share, open the Twitter app, and begin writing your tweet. Tap the camera icon on the left hand side to bring up your saved photos. Select the image of the text and it will appear above your tweet without detracting from any of your 140 characters! Hooray!
2. Attach Multiple Full-Size Images To Your Tweet
You know the old adage, "a picture is worth a thousand words," right? Well, Twitter allows you to post up to four images attached to each tweet. That's like 4,000 extra words (a thousand for each image).
Media is attention grabbing and makes your Tweets highly shareable, so while you don't want to overdo it with images every tweet, they can certainly help expand on a point. To post a photo, tap on the tweet icon, and then select the camera icon. Choose the photo(s) from the gallery, and they will attach to your tweet in their glorious entirety.
3. Add Stickers To Your Images On Twitter
In the summer of 2016, Twitter introduced stickers. These Snapchatesque emoji and filters promised to add a little extra personality to images — and these stickers are a great way to share more info without adding text. Twitter updates the sticker library fairly regularly, and they now have quite the collection of fun up-to-the-minute stickers for every mood and event just waiting to be utilized.
To add a sticker, start a tweet and tap the camera icon. Select the image you wish to share from your gallery and tap the smiley face stickers icon. Select the perfect stickers from the library and press down to drag them into place on the image. Resize the stickers or rotate them by pinching with your fingers on either side. A couple of these will add a some oomph to your Twitter images.
4. Attach A Gif To Jazz Up Your Tweet
Twitter may have added its very own GIF button this year, although unlike photos, you can only attach one GIF per tweet. Luckily, even one of these moving memes will make quite the statement (no need for paragraph long explanations). Twitter supports looping GIFs — so be aware that if the animated image you upload only plays a single time, it will show up as a static image attached to your tweet.
5. Utilize Links Where You Can
OK, so this isn't really a "hack" per se, but links are great. You don't want to overload the viewer of your tweet with too much info up front, or else they will move on without reading. Instead, if you construct a tight, attention grabbing 140 characters, you will peak the viewers interest enough to get them to click the link and read your longer blog post or article. Sometimes it pays to focus on writing a post of 140 characters with impact.
6. Shorten Links So You Have More Available Characters
When sharing a link on Twitter, the URL will take up 23 characters of the tweet no matter the link's original length. This will give you 117 characters leftover to play with, however there ways to get more bang for your buck. Signing up for a free link shortening service such as Bitly will give you more room to write. Some of these services even track your tweet's analytics and how many times the shared link has been clicked on, and it can be neat to know the kind of impact your tweets are having. But even if you are not a marketer or social media power user, it can help to have the extra space.
7. Share Your Tumblr Posts On Twitter
Did you know that you can sync your social media accounts so that your Tumblr posts are shared on Twitter? By joining these two services, you can automatically share anything from the microblogging platform in a Twitter image. To do so, simply log into Tumblr and click on the gear icon. Once in settings, select the blog that you wish to join with Twitter and click “Share posts on your Twitter.” You can turn this option on and off for each blog post, so no need to worry about oversharing.
8 Make Multiple Tweets Appear Consecutively
Finally, for those who wish to share a lot of text in the body of their tweets without links or screenshots, sometimes multiple tweets are the only answer. So how do you make the tweets thread together without breaks in between? To keep the convo flowing, utilize the reply function and delete your username that appears automatically when replying.
Services such as Big Big Tweet are also super handy. Go to the website, connect with your Twitter and enter the passage you wish to tweet into the text box. The service will format the text for you so it will appear consecutively in several tweets that flow together. Add a "cont." at the beginning of the successive tweets to be extra sure people understand that they are a part of a longer message.
Now go out there and tweet! Tweet everything your heart desires!