Why does Twitter have a 140-character limit?

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Answered by: Nicole, An Expert in the Microblogging Category
In this age of technology, everything is moving toward the Internet. Reading newspapers has turned to blogging, and blogging has turned to microblogging. And one of the most famous microblogging websites is Twitter as a form of social networking. When a person blogs, they can insert visible pictures and videos and they can type in as many words as they could possibly want. There is no limit. However, Twitter has a limit. A 140 character limit.

You might think this is so inconvenient because you have to click the link and go to a separate web page to see the picture or video, but smart phones are smarter than that. It's so easy to view the short message and still be able to see the photo or video. Gone are the days of scrolling down someone's blog. Gone are the days of browsing through someone's latest post just to get to the juicy part. Twitter has a limit so there is no more searching involved. People post their juiciest information right there in 140 characters.

Granted sometimes it's hard to fit what you want to say in 140 characters, but you find a way. There are ways to shorthand your text. Love becomes <3, you becomes u, to becomes 2, and becomes &. We all know how it works, and while it might be a nuisance to type/text in shorthand, you get used to it. And if you honestly really can't fit whatever you want to say in a Tweet, you can Tweet a little teaser (check out this link), and bit.ly that baby.

Bit.ly is a great website that Tweeters can use to shorten their URL links. So something like this (http://livingmyhilife.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/debating-what-my-future-holds/) quickly becomes this (http://bit.ly/jY1SWj) after using bit.ly. Because Twitter has a limit, bit.ly is a great way to save your character spacing. Using applications like Tweetdeck automatically shortens URLs for you, and it's such a time saver.

I know there are probably still people who are complaining that Twitter has a limit, but you need to see the beauty of this limit. You don't want people always rambling on and on. When people read the newspaper, they usually only read the first couple of paragraphs because that's where the juicy stuff is. If they're really interested they'll keep reading, and Twitter uses that same mentality. People will read the tweet, and if they're interested they'll go researching further on their own.

Twitter is like a little teaser that your audience can see. It gives you a little taste of what the author is trying to say. If they give you everything then where's the fun in that? I don't think people would want to have updates sent to their phone if the updates are equivalent to 5 text messages. I don't like getting my phone blown up, and Twitter never does that. This 140 character limit not only keeps people from rambling, but it also makes information concise. You can still see picture and video, and it doesn't blow up your phone. Microblogging is in, people.

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