As we warned in December, if you’re tweeting out a URL, your tweets are going to be a bit shorter. Starting today, tweets will be reduced to 118 characters, or 117 for https links.
First announced in 2012, the reduction is due to a change in Twitter’s URL shortener, which will go from 20 to 22 reserved characters for non-https URLs and from 21 to 23 characters for https URLs. We should note that this won’t affect text-only tweets.
URL shorteners are tools that make long hyperlinks much shorter, enabling you to include useful links in your tweets without having to go over your character limit. Now, ironically, condensed links take up a bit more space, leaving you with fewer characters to add commentary.
Two characters might not seem like a lot, but when you’re only given 140 characters to begin with, each one is valuable. This change shouldn’t have too significant of an impact — especially since it only affects tweets using Twitter’s t.co link wrapper — but it serves as a good reminder to tweet smarter and keep your message as concise as possible.