Ideal length of social media posts: a guide for Facebook

Christine Tudhope
Thursday 25 January 2024

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What’s the one thing everyone who posts on social media needs apart from a crack team of content creators? That’s right, it’s here at last, your saviour and guide to the ideal length of posts for every social network. (Please, hold your applause.)

In this blog we will focus on Facebook because, let’s face it, nobody has time to read, so we have broken our social media posts guide down to bitesized chunks on each network you are most likely to use on a daily basis.

This isn’t just a list of how long Facebook posts canbe: it’s evidence-based advice on the best Facebook post lengths to drive the most engagement.

If you want more likes, shares, video views, and comments (and what kind of monster doesn’t?!), it’s pivotal to nail the length of your message.

Are you writing too much in your social media posts? Too little? Are your videos too long or not long enough? Read on for our curated research on the ideal character counts for Facebook posts (not to be confused with character limits) and other types of content.

The ideal Facebook post length

While you have enough space to craft a novella on FB, the truth is shorter posts usually receive more likes, comments, and shares.

People like it when a message makes its point quickly and concisely. It’s satisfying.

Organic posts length: 1 to 80 characters

We scoured the world wide web for research and the most recent study is from way back in 2016… an eternity in social media years, but it’s the best starting point we have.

In 2016, BuzzSumo analysed more than 800 million Facebook posts. Based on their findings, posts with less than 50 characters “were more engaging than long posts”. According to another, more precise study by Jeff Bullas, posts with 80 characters or less receive 66 percent higher engagement.

There are a couple of reasons for this…

Barrier to entry:Facebook cuts off longer posts with an ellipsis, forcing users to click ‘See More’ to expand the text and read the entire message.

This extra step doesn’t seem like much, but it will drive down engagement. Every time you ask your audience to take action, a percentage of people will lose interest.

Barrier to comprehension: the longer a person reads, the harder his or her brain must work to process information. Content that demands less work to consume and understand will enjoy higher engagement rates.

Paid posts length: 5 to 19 words

Every Facebook ad needs three types of content: a Headline, Ad Text, and a Link Description.

After analysing 752,626 Facebook ads back in 2018, AdEspresso found that ads did best when the copy in each element was clear and concise.

According to the data, the ideal lengths for each element are:

  • Headline, the first text people read — 5 words
  • Ad Text, which appears above the ad — 19 words
  • Link Description, which appears below the headline — 13 words

Video length: 30 to 60 seconds

Sure, you can upload a 240-minute video to Facebook… but will anyone actually watch it all the way through? With video, one of the primary measures of success is how long people watch, also known as your video retention rate.

For viral content, Facebook recommends videos that are less than one minute or stories that are less than 20 seconds in length.

That being said, if you’re hoping to qualify for in-stream ads, you might want to linger a little longer — videos need to be more than three minutes to qualify.

Facebook also recommends videos over three minutes for episodic series, live streaming or story development.

Careful! Don’t go over the limit:

Facebook Text Character Limit
Facebook Post 33,000
Username 50
Page Description 255
Facebook Ad Headline 40
Facebook Ad Text 135
Facebook Link Description 30


So, there you have it, your guide to engaging content lengths on Facebook — we can’t wait to see your content. Don’t forget to tag us in your posts.

Look out for our other social media post guides for Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram coming soon, because — let’s face it — we are, at 610, far too old for TikTok.

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