Twitter ♥ Ellipsis

I felt like this warranted a blog post, no matter how short.  But hey, it’s about Twitter, so a short post is appropriate!

The ellipsis (Wikipedia) is three periods in a row often used to signify that content has been abbreviated or truncated.  In the world of automated (or automation-assisted) Tweet composition, it’s a common thing.  There’s also a premium on character count in the Twitter world, particularly when it comes to automation.

Well here’s an easy way to squeeze in two more characters:  The ellipsis character.  Rather than trimming an extra three characters (for three periods) from text that is too long, you can trim just one character (for an ellipsis).  Examples:

  • This text is truncated without three periods ...
  • This text is truncated with an ellipsis …

They look the same, but you can tell they’re different by trying to highlight each period separately on the second example.  And, in line with my rampant narcissism, I wrote a 140 character tweet about this very blog post which uses — you guessed it — the ellipsis character.  And finally (because I wanted to use Twitter’s Blackbird Pie tool), here’s a pretty representation of the same tweet:

I’m writing a fun blog post about the benefits of the ellipsis character when truncating text for the purposes of programmatic autotweeting…less than a minute ago via Tweetie for Mac

Twitter ♥ Ellipsis