There are a lot of mixed feelings out there about Twitter testing the new 280 character limit.

On the one hand you have those who feel 140 characters defines Twitter, makes it what it is and keeps it simple. Alternatively, there are those who have been calling for an increase for ages.

Aside from the whole "Twitter is 140, 140 is Twitter" thing, the most common argument in favour of retaining the lower limit is to standardise the stream, to keep "stream units" consistent.

But this is a hollow argument.

Embedding images, videos, various types of "cards" in tweets, and quote tweets - not to mention Twitter's own native ad units - has meant that the notion of a standard tweet or unit has not been a reality for ages.

It seems strange clinging to the idea that tweets are all presented uniformly when this doesn't reflect how the stream looks or works, and hasn't done for years.

  1. If they increase it to 280, what's to stop them from increasing it again when enough people want to write even longer messages. Not that I use Twitter anymore, but I'm with the 140 crowd. I've always liked that that restriction forces concision and creativity.
    1. Colin Walker says: #
      There’s nothing wrong with keeping a 140 limit, it’s just some of the arguments rolled out for doing so are no longer valid.
  2. Yes, I agree with your point about stream-unit consistency. The other thing is, tweet's a good name for a very short update. If they move to 280 or beyond, they might have to call it something else. A bleet, maybe? :)

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