Tag Archives: Twitter

What is going on with my Twitter character count in iOS? The secret of the standardized URL

Ever wonder why the character count in the Twitter box jumps (or stays put) when you begin typing a URL in iOS share box? Wonder what the heck I’m talking about? Great question, take a moment and open a web page Safari on your iPhone (borrow a friend’s if you don’t have one) and go to Apple.com. Tapping on the Share icon located at the bottom of the screen will activate the Share and Action Sheet (best name I could find after a brief search across the web).

Shareicon

ShareActionSheet

Notice that you have a collection of Share and Action options. In this article, we will be focusing on Twitter.  Tap on it to activate the Share. NOTE: this assumes that you have a Twitter account and that account has been configured in the built-in Twitter feature of iOS framework, and no, sadly, having the Twitter app installed does not count.

Before we move forward, let’s quickly recheck our understanding of the crazy social world known as Twitter.  Twitter is built on a simple concept of short, sweet, messages, 140 characters long to be exact. That’s right, every thought, every dream, every fact, needs to fit in measly 140 characters or less (some studies even recommends to grab a persons attention, it should be under 100 characters!) to successfully post into Twitter. So now that we activate our Twitter share dialog, let’s take a look at it. There are several 3 key components:

  • The message
  • The optional image predefined by the programmer
  • Character Count

Let’s take a look at what we see on Apple.com

ShareTwitter1

Now as we take a closer look, we have a message Apple, an optional image and a character count that says… wait… 140 characters – Apple (5 characters) = 135 characters, but currently the dialog says I only have 112 characters left… what gives??

That is our lead into the point of this article. I will discuss 2 topics

  1. How to embed the URL (Developer point of view)
  2. Twitter’s link standardization

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