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Twitter mobile app. Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Nearly a year since Twitter doubled the character limit of tweets from 140 to 280, the company has found that the most common length of tweets in English is 33 characters, one fewer than before the change.

The bottom line: The increase in length hasn't turned all tweets into short novels. Instead, it seems the change simply made it easier for users to avoid using a litany of abbreviations. And for users who still want to post longer thoughts, Twitter has also improved the ability to create so-called "tweetstorms," or sequences of connected tweets.

By the numbers (for English-language tweets):

  • Only about 1% of tweets hit the 280-character limit.
  • 12% are longer than 140 characters (versus the 9% that hit the 140-character limit historically), and 5% are longer than 190 characters.
  • Across all languages, 6% of all tweets are longer than 140 characters and 3% are longer than 190 characters.
  • 54% more messages say "please" and 22% more use "thank you" since the character limit doubled.
  • There's a decline of abbreviations like "gr8" (-36%), "b4" (-13%), and "sry" (-5%) in favor of the full words — "great" (+32%), "before" (+70%), and "sorry" (+31%).
  • 30% more tweets include a question mark, and there are more replies to tweets.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.