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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

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
6 hours ago - World

Putin to demand legal guarantee against NATO expansion in call with Biden

Biden and Putin meeting in Geneva in June. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand east — including to Ukraine — and plans to raise the issue in an upcoming phone call with President Biden, according to the Kremlin.

Why it matters: Russia has massed more than 94,000 troops on the border with Ukraine and could be preparing for a large-scale invasion at the end of January, Ukraine's defense minister said Friday.