Over the course of the last few years of presenting data about Twitter, I've been asked a few common questions that, at the time, I didn't have the data to answer. One of the most common questions asked has been regarding click-through-rates (CTR).
I started by analyzing the length of 200,000 link-containing tweets as well as the CTR the links in those tweets generated. I calculated CTR as the number of clicks on a link divided by the number of followers the user had when he/she tweeted it.
What I found was a little surprising. Up to about 130 characters, as the length of the tweet increased, so did the CTR.
The takeaway here is pretty straightforward. If you want more clicks on the content you post to Twitter, use longer tweets, but don't surpass 130 characters.
So it seems as though Twitter users are more likely to click on links in tweets if they're accompanied by something else, such as a description of the link. When publishing content to Twitter, choose your characters wisely, and use that space to encourage others to click the links you post by including an enticing description or teaser of the content you're linking to.
Did this data surprise you? Why do you think Twitter users are more likely to click on longer tweets?