How long should my tweet be? Or my blogpost? Or my headline?

I ask this question a lot. It seems that others do, too. Our first take on coming up with the ideal length of all online content proved quite useful for a lot of people.

I’d love to see if I can help make it even more useful.

Along with all the best tips on optimal lengths for tweets, blogposts, headlines, and more, I’ve added a few additional lengths to the list—the ones that came up most often in the comments of the last post, like SlideShare length, Pinterest length, and more.

And to make it just as easy as possible to consume all this information quickly and easily, we partnered with our friends at SumAll to place the data and insights into a fun infographic. Check it all out below.

Infographic: The optimal length for social media updates and more

Click to enlarge. And check out the instructions at the bottom to embed this graphic on your website.


Share this image on your site!

If you enjoy the snazzy look and helpful info in this infographic, SumAll published a companion infographic (in a super cool, printable pdf format) over on their blog.

For the free, print-ready infographic, visit the SumAll blog.

SumAll is one of our favorite social media tools. They do social media tracking better than anyone we’ve found—all your data, all in one place, for free.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find in the downloadable, printable version of the infographic.


The data-backed findings for the optimal length

It seems like people love to be told what works best. They love to have a starting point.

And that’s what these ideal lengths represent: starting points. We wrote a bit on the topic of how to implement data into your social media strategy. Do you take best practices like these ideal lengths as gospel truth? Not quite.

Take these as best practices, as jumping off points, as ideas to iterate on.

Put them to the test, and see what is right for you.

The optimal length of a tweet — 71 to 100 characters

Not only does this length give you enough room to share your message, it also provides room for someone who retweets you to add a message of their own.

retweet example

If you’d like to get ultra-specific with exactly the optimal length of a tweet for your specific Twitter account, you can find this by running the numbers on your Twitter analytics. We wrote up instructions on how to find your ideal tweet length by graphing it vs. engagement.

For the Buffer account, our sweet spot is between 80 and 120 characters.

Until you test and discover the right length for you, stick to the 71-to-100 character guideline.

What makes this length optimal? Tweets at this length get more retweets. They also have higher reply rate, retweet rate, and combined reply/retweet rate (these latter of which shows engagement per followers).

Where’d this data come from? A pair of studies have found the 100-character mark to be the sweet spot for tweet length. Track Social studied 100 major brands (Oreo, Zappos, ESPN, etc.) for a 30-day period in the fall of 2012. Buddy Media studied 320 Twitter handles from major brands for two-and-a-half months at the beginning of 2012.

The optimal length of a Facebook post – 40 characters

Shorter seems to be better on Facebook.

Maximum engagement happens at 40 characters (so, too, does minimum quantity, meaning that a vast minority of Facebook posts hit this 40-character mark). And engagement slowly wanes the longer you go.

An 80-character post is better than 100-character post.

A 40-character post is better than 80.

The upside to such a small window is that sharing a Facebook links lets you fudge a little on the amount of text in your update. Links show the title and description of a post, along with the update you type.

And how much can you fit in a 40-character window?

Here’s a post that landed under 40 characters (26 to be exact).

moz facebook screenshot

What makes this length optimal? Posts at this length tend to receive higher like rate, comment rate, and combined like/comment rate (stats that include a comparison of total engagement to number of Facebook fans.)

Where’d this data come from? A pair of studies have each found that shorter is better on Facebook. A Buddy Media study of the top 100 retailers Facebook pages during a six-month period in 2011 is one of the most-cited sources. Also in 2011, BlitzLocal studied 11,000 Facebook pages over a seven-month period.

The optimal length of a Google+ headline – 60 characters maximum

Google+ updates often take on the appearance of blogposts with bold headings up top and a body of text below. These top headings are the ones you’re best off optimizing. And 60 characters is as long as you should go.

google plus example

What makes this length optimal? It’s the maximum length for a Google+ headline to span one row before breaking to a second line.

Where’d this data come from? Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger tested out the length with posts on the Copyblogger page. He found that bold headlines could reach 60 characters before additional words would be bumped to the second line.

The optimal width of a paragraph – 40 to 55 characters

Before researching this one, I seldom thought about the width of my paragraphs. Readers might not think much of it either, but usability studies and psychology suggest that they notice it nevertheless.

What makes this width optimalAt this width, the content appears simple to understand, and readers feel they can comprehend the subject matter.

Where’d this data come from? Derek Halpern of Social Triggers synthesized a pair of research studies to arrive at the 40-to-55 character recommendation. The studies he cited include a 2004 meta-analysis by Mary C. Dyson of the University of Reading and a 1992 study from a team of Netherlands researchers.

The optimal length of a domain name – 8 characters

What characteristics do some of the best domain names have in common?

  1. is short
  2. is easy to remember
  3. is easy to spell
  4. is descriptive or brandable
  5. does not contain hyphens and numbers
  6. has a .com extension

Length, in particular, can be a tough one to nail down as dot-coms get snatched up so quickly. If you can’t secure the dot-com of your dreams, there are more and more websites going the route of .co and .io.

What makes this length optimalThis is the most common domain name length for the Internet’s most popular websites.

Where’d this data come from? In 2009, Daily Blog Tips conducted an analysis of the top 250 websites in Alexa site rankings, counting words and characters that appeared in each domain name.

The optimal length of a hashtag – 6 characters

What makes this length optimalThe 6-character hashtag recommendation comes from a handful of Twitter experts and is cited by, one of the leading sites on the data and usage of hashtags.

The optimal length of an email subject line – 28 to 39 characters

How does an optimal subject line look in the inbox? Here’s a sample from my Gmail.


Clearly, there are a ton of different ways to approach writing a subject line, and length is equally as important to test as the rest of the elements. If you’re looking for a place to start your tests, the optimal length of 28 to 39 characters is a good bet.

What makes this length optimalYou may see a slight uptick in open rate and click rate at this length.

Where’d this data come from? A 2012 study by Mailer Mailer looked at 1.2 billion email messages to identify subject line trends.

The optimal length of an SEO title tag – 55 characters

SEO titles are the titles of your webpages and blogposts that show up in search results.

If you want this …

seo 1

… instead of this …

seo 2

… stick with the optimal SEO title length.

What makes this length optimalGoogle search results tend to truncate titles with an ellipsis (…) if they go beyond the 55-character mark.

Where’d this data come from? In March 2014, Moz analyzed 89,787 titles in search results pages.

The optimal length of a blog headline – 6 words

I absolutely love good headline advice, which is why this bit is such a fascinating learning. On the Buffer blog, we tend toward the biggest, boldest headlines we can come up with. Could it be that the smaller, six-word headlines do best?

headline 1


headline 2

What makes this length optimalOur eyes tend to pick up on the first three words of a headline and the last three words.

Where’d this data come from? KISSmetrics author Bnonn cites usability research that confirms scanning of headlines. Also, Jakob Nielsen ran usability testing in 2009 based on the idea that readers typically consume only the first 11 characters of a headline.

The optimal length of a LinkedIn post – 25 words

The results on optimal LinkedIn length depend on whom you’re targeting. Are you trying to reach out to businesses or consumers?

One of the few studies on LinkedIn length—a 2012 report from Compendium—pulled statistics for each type of business: B2B and B2C. Here’s what they found.


What makes this length optimalThe results in the Compendium study tend to focus on clickthroughs as the basis for recommending best practices. It’s safe to assume an ideal length of a LinkedIn post would be based on clicks, too.

Where’d this data come from? In 2012, Compendium released its findings on a study of 200 companies on social media, looking at business-to-business and business-to-consumer best practices.

The optimal length of a blogpost – 1,600 words

We recently ran a blog content audit, and one of the results of the audit was some insight into the ideal length of Buffer blog posts.

1,600 words makes for a good guideline to get started.

We’ve found that 2,500-word posts tend to do best for us.


This reinforces the need to check these lengths against your own data. And if you’re just starting out, it might be smart to start off with 1,600 words per post and adjust from there.

What makes this length optimalAt this length, you can expect readers to spend the maximum amount of time reading your content. Total time on page is highest at the 1,600-word length than any other length.

From the Medium study:

7-minute posts capture the most total reading time on average.

Where’d this data come from? In December 2013, Medium published the results of its time on page analysis for blogposts on its network.

The optimal length of a YouTube video – 3 minutes

How much time do you get to tell your story in a video? How long until someone loses interest and clicks over to the next link? These are big questions for video marketers who compile their content with timestamps in mind the same way bloggers compose with word count.

What makes this length optimal? This is the average video length of the top videos on YouTube.

Where’d this data come from? In 2012, ReelSEO counted the length of the top 50 YouTube videos and found the average duration to be 2 minutes, 54 seconds. Google researchers from the YouTube team confirmed the ideal length to be three minutes as well, according to an interview with Clinton Stark.

The optimal length of a podcast – 22 minutes

Podcasting has become more and more a part of content marketing strategies for brands big and small. There are sure to be additional studies that come out on best practices for publication and promotion. In the meantime, optimal length is a good place to start. Keep things 22 minutes or shorter.

What makes this length optimalThe 22-minute mark is when an average user disconnects from a podcast.

Where’d this data come from? The data is reported from Stitcher, an online podcast streaming service.

The optimal length of a presentation – 18 minutes

Famously, the 18-minute mark is where TED Talks max out their presenters. Anyone who shares must stay under 18 minutes. Here’s why.

What makes this length optimalThis seems to be the upper limit for how long a person can pay attention before losing focus.

Where’d this data come from? Author Carmine Gallo, who has written on the history of TED Talks, cites scientific research from Dr. Paul King of Texas Christian University as well as insight into how the brain processes new information (and expends energy while doing so).

The optimal length of a SlideShare – 61 slides

You’d think that SlideShare best practices would be cut-and-dry. My research wasn’t quite so clear.

The 61-slide recommendation comes from HubSpot’s Dan Zarella who is well-known for his in-depth and accurate research on social media. From a data-backed perspective, 61 slides seems like a safe way to go.

Per HubSpot:

We can only speculate about why this is true, but it may be owed to the fact that SlideShare is a site mostly used by professionals who are likely seeking data-focused, meaty presentations with a lot of depth. Don’t be afraid to get detailed in your SlideShare content, and load your presentations with lots of data. Unlike YouTube, where shorter content tends to be more successful, SlideShare users welcome comprehensive content.

Here’s the breakdown of number of slides per presentation and SlideShare views, courtesy of Dan.


Beyond the data, there is a bit of opposite advice that many hold as a best practice: Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule.

  • 10 Slides
  • 20 Minutes
  • 30 Point Font

It’s a system that a lot of people swear by. Is it right for you? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by testing.

What makes this length optimalSlide decks of this length get more views on average.

Where’d this data come from? In 2010, HubSpot’s Dan Zarella shared results from his social media research, pointing to this optimal length.

The optimal size of a Pinterest image – 735px by 1102px


Curalate found that vertical images, featuring an aspect ratio between 2:3 and 4:5, receive 60 percent more repins than images with a more vertically-skewed aspect ratio.

Combine this with the best practices from the folks at Canva who recommend a starting point for Pinterest image templates at 735 pixels wide by 1102 pixels tall and—bang!—you’ve got your ideal size, backed by data.

What makes this size optimal? At this size, you can expect more likes, repins, and comments.

Where’d this data come from? In June, Curalate analyzed over 500,000 Pinterest images posted by brands. Their findings also included recommendations for faces, hue, texture, brightness, color, and more.

Bonus Pinterest tips:

As for the optimal length of a Pinterest description (maximum is 500 characters), Dan Zarrella found that 200-character descriptions are the most repinnable.

A great use for the description is a call-to-action. Brandon Gaille found that pins with CTAs receive an 80 percent increase in engagement over those without.


Hopefully you’ve found some good  insights from this experiment. Definitely use data like this as a starting point for your own testing and iterating. What’s right for many others in terms of best practices might not be exactly what your specific audience needs.

It sure is nice to know where to start, though.

How do these optimal lengths feel to you? How long are the social media updates that you send?

It’d be awesome to hear from you in the comments!

Image sources: Track Social, CompendiumPlaceIt, Hubspot, Dan Zarrella

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Written by Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! ?

  • Matt Bennett

    Lots of detail here, Kevan! Thanks. Glad to see that info about podcast length. So many of them are an hour long, with 15 minutes of banter at the start. Only the top, highly produced podcasts e.g. Freakonomics can hold people for 45 mins or more.

    • Hi Matt! Thanks for the comment! Agreed about podcast length. I sometimes have a hard time carving out an hour for some of these. Do you have any favorite podcasts, by the way? 🙂

  • Realtyzations

    The written word guidelines are great rules of thumb that can be adjusted based on experience with your audience, given the content is solid. I find, on the flip side, that for presentations the question of length varies dramatically based upon the tone, inflection, and body signals used by the presenter. TED talks has such fantastic presenters that I’m sure most of us would continue listening long after the 18 minute mark. For that platform, it’s more of a challenge to get a message across in 18 minutes, as opposed to the audiences attention span. Another great post, Kevan!

    • Thanks, Ali! Great points you make here about presentations. Good food for thought!

  • Hi Kevan – absolutely fantastic infographic – it’s a very useful reminder to keep close to hand.

    Now that you’ve got all this data on what we ‘should’ be doing – I’d be interested to look at any exceptions to the rules that you’ve uncovered so far?

    Are there any blogs/social media accounts/podcasts/videos you’ve seen that flaunt all the rules and get a huge response from their audience?

    • Hi Douglas! Thanks so much for the comment! Glad you like the infographic (HT: SumAll). 🙂

      The “exceptions” post sounds like an awesome one for a followup! I’ll get going on it. 🙂

  • Love it! Learning is fun!

    • Indeed! Thanks, Steve!

  • Great post Kevan,

    Just wondering if your team has gone on to ask any “why” questions? Why might 1600 word blog posts perform best? Why might tweets with 71-100 characters perform best? etc.

    I feel there’s a chance that while this information is valuable, these kinds of “why” questions answered could help us do well outside of these boundaries.

    To be clear, I am not accusing you of using this data as the end all and be all, as you’ve stated that it’s simply a starting point. I’d just love to hear more about how you expand on this starting point.


    • Thanks for the perspective on this! Agreed, the “why” component can be hugely helpful for implementing some of these ideas (or for analyzing them after testing). Seems like this might fit great in a followup post as well!

      I definitely have some guesses on the “why” for these ideal lengths – 1,600-word blogposts are detailed without feeling overwhelming, 71-to-100 character tweets are informative plus leave room for others to comment, 40-characters FB posts stand out in the stream. I’d love to test some of these hypotheses and report back!

  • Loved this post, great info.

    • Thanks, Shereeda!

  • LOVE the animals – what a fabulous infographic!!!! (Giraffes are my fave! hehee!)

    • Hi Mari! Thanks for the comment! I’m with you on the giraffe (and I thought the duck was quite adorable, too)!

  • Mordecai Holtz

    Great graphics!Love that you mentioned our mutual friend Brian!

  • It still boggles my mind that 1,500+ word articles are the ones that seem to be shared the most. You’d expect that shorter, crisper to the point articles would be the ones that people would like to share since they’re quick to get through!

    • mohammad umair

      One of the reasons for longer posts doing good is that its reflects the author’s expertise. This is what Google is aiming at with its recent updates.

      • I disagree. Just because someone can put down more content and copy does not necessarily mean that they’re an expert in what they’re talking about. 😉

        • mohammad umair

          Maybe my comment gave an impression that it is as simple as just posting a long content and rest of the things will take care of it. I didn’t meant that.

          Google considers lot of factors in ranking content before serving it up to readers.

          People are smart enough to smell a bad write-up from a distance, so it would be unwise to undermine them.

    • voiceOfUnreason

      It really depends on the subject matter and the user. I write on what I know, engineering, electronics and science and necessarily these posts require more depth. And it’s tough to cut my articles down! Real tough.

      Probably just a matter of preference but personally I like more in-depth or long-form pieces. You can say I’ve grown tired of listicles and short “superficial” articles that seem to have become the rage in this age of content marketing. You know these types of pieces; typically, they don’t really explain anything you don’t already know, just only lightly touch on the subject at hand and what’s already being said on numerous other sites and blogs. I can point to a few popular “tech” blogs for instance that have this deplorable urge to post an update on every-little-single-thing, however useless! Then blast and broadcast on social media to draw as many eyeballs as possible. One rhymes with laughable and the other has an acronym similar to that device you use to watch all your favorite sitcoms on ;). Basically, it is as if just pump out as much “content” as you can. I suppose one also writes not only for their current demographic, but the types of people one wants to draw to their sites in future though, so that rationale can make sense in some instances and hey, these guys are making big $$.

      Having said all that and lest I cause confusion, just want to make it clear that I’m not accusing you personally of any of this, just generally speaking.

      Sometimes I wonder how the Internet can sustain the vast amount of pap and recycled stuff that is out there. But I digress.

  • Guy Kawasaki’s rule of thumb was based on a presentation being, well, presented. The giver should be able to tell the story, not just rely on the audience to read the slides. On Slideshare, though, the viewer doesn’t have the benefit of the spoken component of the presentation. So it makes sense that the content creator would fill gaps with more slides.

    • Thanks for adding this detail, Mark! Makes complete sense.

  • rayfilwong

    Fantastics. I like that the information is detailed and applicable.

  • Thanks Kevan. Interesting stats. The .com extension only applies if you are not targeting a specific country (other than the USA). If web traffic from Search Engines is important to you, consider the country-code extension (ie. use the .ca if targeting Canada).

    • Great tip, Helen! Thanks!

  • Thanks for sharing such a great post!! Love the inforgraphics!!It is very much informative and I learnt how to optimize my social media!!

  • Maria

    Hi Kaven, I was looking for some information about the optimal size for Linkedin ( I know that I’m not posting were I should have, but maybe somebody will help me?! :D).
    My photos are always resized and they are not looking good.

    • Hi Maria! I think that maybe LinkedIn doesn’t quite support image attachments in the same way that Facebook, Google+, and Twitter do. We typically try to stick with sharing links to our LinkedIn page.

  • Excellent post. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Straight to the point, and answered almost every questions I had in mind regarding the optimal size. Also, very creative infographic. This is an excellent resource material for my web design and web development company. Thanks for sharing.

  • voiceOfUnreason

    I’ve seen this post doing the rounds the last few days. Couldn’t find where the conclusions were coming from. Some whilst making sense on a gut or intuitive level seemed and could as well have been arbitrary. It is good to know that there is actually some solid data and numbers, behind the conclusions reached. Kudos.

    • Thanks! Yes, glad you found the post and the research behind it. Cheers!

    • Alex

      Did you know there are hundreds (possibly thousands) of different direct mail packages? Here at GRC Direct we’ll work with you to make sure that the package you’re sending matches not only your message but also your brand.

  • I love the way you’ve used different (and cute) animals in the infographic instead of the conventional twitter bird, etc.

    The infographic is fab! Really cool stats.

    I was working on a strategy when I came across this post, it was of huge help! Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks so much! All credit to the SumAll team for the design. I’m very glad you like it! 🙂

  • Cj

    Great details and a look into the human mind in a way. I have a very short attention span for video, and I wonder if the podcast length of 22 minutes is related to how much time we spend commuting. I’ve hosted podcasts that vary in length from 5 minutes to hour long and have seen success with both depending on the audience. Variations in text probably occur more with the viewing on the web versus mobile platforms. I tend to prefer text that I can consume without scrolling, but yet I made it through this entire post! 🙂

    • Hi CJ, thanks for the comment! Very interesting to hear that your podcasts have tried all sorts of different lengths. 🙂

  • Other than valuable information, visuals are amazing! It’s my #1 fav Infographic of all time!!! :)))

  • Black Bankroll

    That infographic about “the ideal character count” is great! I have see similar to these, but without any comment why that many character. I promote my blog via so i will try to use your tips, thanks!

  • Balint

    Great info and infographic. Makes me wonder why you used the animals and what should they represent? Maybe I am overanalysing, but sure there is a reason you picked these animals, so I am curious why. Love the detailed soruces and explanations.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m really grateful for the team at SumAll for the design on this one. They had the great idea for the animals, too! Not sure if there’s any deeper reason there than animals are just super awesome!

  • I love this post! The animals seem to make the information that much more memorable and interesting. It would be interesting to do more comparisons on B2B vs. B2C like you shared with LinkedIn.

  • Radhakrishnan

    Liked the content and also the way it was presented. Good stuff.

  • I can barely put the words together on how blissfully informative, intelligent, and light this was of a read. I must share you with the world.

  • Maggie Aderhold Stephens

    Love the specifics! Thanks so much for the Pinterest information. Just what I was looking for!

    • So happy to hear this! Really glad you found some useful info here, Maggie! 🙂

  • Alesya

    Thanks for asking that question a lot. I appreciate the answer.

    • Alesya

      WOW! Why did my profile picture turn out the size of a giraffe?
      Could it please be deleted?

      • Thanks for the comment, Alesya! Sorry for the odd formatting in the Disqus thread. I’ve deleted the previous comment. Hope that helps!

  • Meredith Gould

    Terrific and terrifically useful on all levels. My one quibble: blog post length. I’ve served as editor for several group blogs and I’ve gotten to the point where I won’t accept and certainly won’t post anything much longer than 450 words. Maybe 500. Anything longer gets turned into a series or I suggest they try Medium…or write a Kindle Single!

  • Leslie

    great data and info graphics…will reblog this on my wordpress for information technology class. We are having to blog now and its great info.

  • Anjani Singrodia

    You mention that Facebook Posts should be only 40 characters. The first source link is broken. The second source for that contradicts your statement with the graph attached which clearly shows post length of 120-139 characters. Could you please check on that?

  • So glad I found your article. VERY informative, although thinking about doing 1600 word blog posts every week has me tired already. 🙂

  • A great add to this would have been optimal length/number of words for well-optimized web page, landing page, etc. Good stuff!

  • Mitch Neff

    This is a great post – a prime example of the fundamentals we need to practice daily. Get all the “little” things right and magic seems to happen. I work with a very large and distributed group of social managers. This link will stay on file to share every time the fundamentals are mentioned.

    I would be remise if I didn’t mention that one of my co-workers noticed your post title is 11 words long, can’t win them all…
    Thanks for the work you put into this and providing such an exhaustive resource on the topic.

  • lifecoachdavebrown

    Thanks so much! This is a fantastic analysis. This is so useful when teaching sales, marketing and communications!

  • Marilyn Freedman

    Every time I read one of your blog posts, I get the information I was looking for plus some. And this time it’s backed by research, which I love. Wonderfully clear sentences, empirics, and great visuals–what more could a person ask for? Thanks.

  • Nora Flint

    Great Infographic Keven !!

  • Dewbert

    8 characters for a domain name? “www.” and “.com” are part of domain names, so that leaves zero characters. I am joking (sort of), but given that there are so many people giving this “expert” advice, can’t they come together and agree that “www.” and the extension are part of the domain name, as I have been told by an rep. I have seen experts say 10 characters max, while others say 20 characters max. Are they including the “www.” and the extension? Sometimes they tell you they are, but most of the time, they do not say.

  • Thoughtful insights.

  • Sam Hancock

    Great article. I’m wondering if anyone is aware of similar stats for social media lengths in other languages, specifically French.

  • Lau Costantini

    Hi, any wisdom on Instagram ideal length please?

  • Julie

    Does anyone know the optimal length of a text message when working with promotional information- such as encouraging a customer to download an app? Please advise!

  • Hey Kevan, great post – there is so much quality information it’s hard to contain the excitement. I am new to the blogger scene, and really trying to boost my online profile. With that being said, does length vary depending on where you fall in the process (new blogger vs. advanced), or is everyone in the same boat?

  • Thuan Nguyen

    Great, i will optimize my blog follow your guide, everyone can see more about Maximizing Your Event ROI with Social Media here:

  • Chris Le Roux

    Great article. But I’m really not sure how many people want to read 1,600-2,500 word blog posts. Unless it’s on a very specific subject (such as this blog post). 2,500 words are the equivalent of eight A4 typed pages. Writing of that length is more of an article. Personally I aim for than 600-800 words.

  • Cathy Goodwin

    Would be perfect for Pinterest but the link doesn’t bring up the photo.

  • WassailAnyone?

    Hi, can you clarify something. You say the optimal length of a post is 1600 words, but your graph reveals that posts over 2500 words actually got the most shares. That’s confusing.

    Also does anyone know best practices for articles that are say 4-500 words long? Paginate them. Break them up into smaller articles? Or leave them as is?

  • Suresh K

    Thanks for sharing this with us it is a worth read.