Twitter - the challenge of 140 characters

twitter

While Facebook recently gave in to user pressure and is now allowing status updates of up to 60,206 characters, Twitter´s policy remains unchanged: you can only tweet up to 140 characters including spaces. The initial purpose of this limit was to make tweets compatible with SMS, and Twitter still outperforms other social media with its mobile usability.

twitterWhile Facebook recently gave in to user pressure and is now allowing status updates of up to 60,206 characters, Twitter´s policy remains unchanged: you can only tweet up to 140 characters including spaces. The initial purpose of this limit was to make tweets compatible with SMS, and Twitter still outperforms other social media with its mobile usability. Users have found ways to get around the limit, too: using shorthand language and emoticons, posting links to blogs with longer text, or using the url-shortening and content-hosting services which mushroomed after the Twitter boom.

Less is more
However, many people see the 140-character limit as one of Twitter´s main advantages, setting it apart from other social media sites, which allow long updates often amounting to pointless babble. When you have to squeeze your thoughts into 140 characters, you are forced to think twice about what you are going to say, then get straight to the point, carefully choosing your words. And if you end up producing pointless babble anyway, your followers will only lose a few seconds of their life reading it!

If you have to tweet more
Bit.ly shortens long url addresses
Twitpic hosts images
NotePub hosts notes, including multimedia
140.it and TweetShrink shorten words or replace them with symbols

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