Share on Vista Social
Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn

How long should social posts be? Try this social media character counter

by Anna Hughes

Jan 25

4 min to read

How long should social posts be? Try this social media character counter

We have all spent hours crafting the content for that perfect post, only to start creating the post on platform and whoa, ‘over the character limit’ displays when you have pasted only half of your copy.  It’s true for every platform and real for every social media manager, social media platforms have character limits.  They are different for each platform, but are very real on all. 

We decided to make your life easier and your posts better by compiling a guide to the character limits on different platforms, as well as the optimal post length per platform.  Included  in this guide are details on a character counter that will make your posting efforts a breeze.

When your post is the optimal length for a particular platform, it will get more reach, more shares and more engagement.  It runs along the same lines as when in Rome, do as the Romans do – nobody on twitter likes a tweet that’s too long!

Character Limit per Platform

Twitter 

Tweets are known to be short, thought provoking and topical. It is called a ‘microblogging and social networking service’, giving insight into its purpose.  The post character limit is 280 characters. Twitter recently upped their character limit from 140 characters to 280 characters. This was a great move for twitter and fewer people had character limit issues, but surprisingly most tweets stayed shorter. The people who took advantage of the extra room space, received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions),  won more followers and were on Twitter for longer.

Instagram

Instagram is about the visual elements, so text is only to bring context to your image. 

The Instagram caption limit is 2,200 characters.

The Hashtag limit is 30 hashtags

Facebook 

Facebook allows lengthy content, so you are allowed to really tell your story. Facebook allows:

63,206 characters in standard posts

Min.5 characters and up to 50 characters in usernames

255 Characters in page descriptions

8,000 Characters for comments

LinkedIn

3,000 characters, up from the previous limit of 1300 characters. LinkedIn allows text only, text and image, articles and video posts.  LinkedIn articles have a 120,000 character limit.

Pinterest

Pinterest is an image and idea sharing social media service, using animated GIFs and videos as well. You are supposed to be able to create your ‘idea’ and then store it on the platform to retrieve later. 

The limit is 100 characters for the Pin title and 500 characters for the Pin description.

YouTube

YouTube is famed for great video content, so of course it is not for a long read, rather for a great watch.  

The limits are 100 characters for the title and 2 000 characters for the description.

Google My Business

The limit is 1,500 characters for a post.  Google My Biz posts are a micro-blogging part of the listing.  This limit is up from 100 words in 2018. 

Reddit

Redditors have a lot to say and the platform is happy for them to say it, with a 40,000character limit the platform is buzzing with great written content.


Vista Social Character Counter

A character counter can be a big help when creating your posts. Vista Social has one built into its publishing tool. It shows the maximum character count in the box below were you add your text (bottom left)when you are creating your post:

Never go wrong with post length again!

Optimal Character Length per Platform


Instagram

50 or less characters sees the most engagement. 

Under 125 characters will make sure that your entire caption is seen in the post, without having to press read more

The optimal hashtag amount is 1-3 hashtags, if you go over that it’s advised to put them in your first comment box. 

Facebook 

40 characters, which gets 86% more engagement.  

Engagement drops the more characters you add front there, until your post has 300+ characters where you will start to see a small increase in engagement.  Short and sweet is how the Facebook audience likes it. 


LinkedIn

40 to 49 characters, and there is that read more button that gets in the way at the 140 character mark, so if you are going longer that’s about the recommended limit. 

LinkedIn articles ranging between 1000 and 3000 words get the most shares, likes, and engagement.

Pinterest

The optimal character count for a Pin description is 50 characters.

As described by Pinterest themselves, great pins are visually compelling, have a great story line and make people want to find out more. 

Making sense of optimal character length recommendations

Recommendations on optimal character length are all over the internet nowadays and are complex, you can sometimes battle to make sense of it all. Here are a few tips on how and when to listen to these recommendations, they will most definitely take your social media strategy to new heights. 

Use them in context

Look at the message you are trying to get across, before you look at optimal character counts.  If your content is not readable and interesting it will obviously all fall flat. 

Let them guide you

If you can see a certain type of post or post length got shares, then use that formula going forward.  You can even try and build on it and it will gain traction. 

Stay true to your platform

Don’t let the recommended character counts detract from the type of content that is true to the platform, your audience and your brand.  You have to keep this all in mind when deciding the way forward. 

The type of engagement

Make sure you are getting the right type of engagement from your post at a particular length, before you make decisions based on results.  Likes are not the same as link clicks or conversions.  


Subscribe to keep up with fresh news

and exciting updates

We promise not to spam you!