Twitter is rapidly becoming one of the most important and most-used methods of communicating online. It’s used for everything from quickly publishing information worldwide to social networking among close friends.
However, Twitter was build around the idea that it would be used, in large part, via text messages. While this makes Twitter very convenient, it also means that tweets have a very strict character limit of 140 characters.
Though URL shorteners and Twitter-speak have helped to maximize what can be said in that space, it’s still very limiting, especially if one is wanting to allow room for retweets and replies, which may reduce the effective limit to 120 or less.
In fact, this sentence alone would, technically, be too long for a single tweet if pasted as-is into Twitter without any kind of shortening.
So what if you want to say something longer? What if you want to write a story, publish a poem or just pen an open letter? You could set up a blog, but that would mean maintaining another presence and it isn’t practical for the occasional tweet that runs over.
Fortunately, developers have seized upon this problem and created a wide variety of tools designed to let you post more than 140 characters and then shoot it out over Twitter (or other social networking sites).
On that note, here are just six of the products out there letting your tweets as long as you want them to be.
TinyPaste actually has little to do with Twitter but happens to be very useful for it. With TinyPaste, you can write (or paste) virtually any amount of text you want and have it saved to a Web URL that is pre-shortened and ready for Tweeting. You can even set your “pastes” to automatically expire after a certain number of days or months, make them private and/or require a password to view them.
TwitLonger is a straightforward tool for posting longer tweets. Simply sign in using 0Auth, write your longer tweet and click “Post”. Twitlonger will publish it to your Twitter account automatically by including the part of the tweet that will fit and a link to the longer portion. Fast, simple, though relatively bare bones in terms of features.
Very similar to TwitLonger, JumboTweet offers the same ease of login and use, along with the same method publishing tweets, but adds in a public stream of other JumboTweets, a list that you can opt your posting out of by making it private.
XLTweet takes what TwitLonger and JumboTweet are doing and adds in a WYSIWYG text editor that allows you to adjust the formatting of your text including size, color, font and more. It also works with Bit.ly so the shortened URLs blend in better on Twitter. Great for “tweets” that need more advanced formatting, such as lists and in-text links.
Where XLTweet lets you add text formatting to your creations, RichTweet goes beyond even that, enabling you to add titles, tags and even videos to the messages you send out. You can even insert images into the body and edit the HTML of your tweet, making this by far the most powerful, if possibly most intimidating, tool on this list.
Eztweets is a very different kind of long-tweet submission tool. Rather than posting the tweet content to a URL and using Twitter to send out a preview and a link, eztweets instead breaks up your content into multiple tweets, where it is automatically sent out via Twitter itself. While not a great tool for posting your novel, it might work well for tweets that are just a little bit too long but can be broken up into 2 or 3 different tweets easily.
All in all, any of these tools should work well for the occasional tweet that goes a bit long. Which you choose depends mostly on how much you need in the way of features and how much you’re willing to sacrifice in the way of simplicity.
No matter what though, the next time you can’t fit your thoughts into 140 characters, you should be covered and ready to share your whole work with the world.