Twitter’s 140-character limit made headlines again last month when newly-reinstalled CEO Jack Dorsey hinted that the social communication platform may remove the constraint.

Call me crazy. I think the 140-character limit is what gives Twitter its power, its strength and its impact.

Three important things happen with the constraint.

  1. People are forced to be concise
  2. People are inspired to be creative (and it’s amazing what people can do creatively in 140 characters)
  3. Important communication/news moves quickly

By eliminating the character limit, Twitter (the company) risks making Twitter (the service) a more homogenous platform, diminishing its role in real-time communication. Among other things, this could have implications on emergency and humanitarian situations (among others).

Twitter is not Facebook, LinkedIn or a blog. Trying to become them, or compete on their terms, means Twitter becomes redundant.