Twitter is searching for ways to grow. They think one solution is putting your tweets out of order. Another solution they were considering — getting rid of the classic 140-character tweet limit — has been tossed.
Speaking on NBC’s Today Show on Friday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed that his company has decided to not expand the social network’s character limit.
“It’s staying,” he said. “It’s a good constraint for us, and… it allows for of-the-moment for everything.”
Phew! Earlier this year Dorsey confirmed they were looking at greatly expanding the character limit, and one source reported that they were considering a tweet limit as large as 10,000 characters. “We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it,” he said in January. “Instead, what if that text… was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power.”
Text… that… is… text?! No wayyyyy.
We don’t know if it was the backlash to the January reports that prevented Twitter from moving forward with the idea, or a combination of things. It probably wouldn’t have looked good to expand the character limit and put tweets out of order in the same year. Those are two very big reasons why Twitter is Twitter.
In the case of the tweet limit, a 140-character maximum is why we all love to scroll through Twitter. We enjoy consuming bite-sized information. We can see at a glance everything that is happening. Sure, occasionally there’s that friend who suffers from word vomit and insists on getting one thought across with multiple tweets. But that’s part of Twitter’s charm! If you want to say something lengthy, you have to make multiple posts. If Twitter got rid of that character limit, years later we’d look back and reminisce about the “old days” when you had to release multiple tweets just to complete a thought.
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