Why Tweets Should Be Twice as Long

You can't have 'meaningful interaction' in 140 characters
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 21, 2011 1:07 PM CDT
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Call him a rebel, but Farhad Manjoo wants Twitter to double the number of characters allowed in a tweet. To many users, that’s sacrilege. But on Twitter’s fifth anniversary, “the 140-character limit feels less like a feature than a big, obvious bug,” Manjoo writes on Slate. “Forcing people to shrink their updates to 140 characters prevents meaningful interaction between users, short-circuits conversations, and turns otherwise straightforward thoughts into a bewildering jumble of txtese.”

“Although I expect blistering attacks from Twitter fans, I suspect that if Twitter did expand the character limit, people would quickly become acolytes,” Manjoo notes. People are already using all kinds of tricks to get around the 140-character limit. “The classic defense of the 140-character perimeter is that, as with a haiku or sonnet, a rigid form inspires creativity.” But “we aren’t all poets, and we shouldn’t have to be to use a mainstream social network.”

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