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.
- People are forced to be concise
- People are inspired to be creative (and it’s amazing what people can do creatively in 140 characters)
- 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.