Doubling character counts won't help Twitter stay relevant

Sometimes there’s great value in keeping things brief. This segment, for example, probably wouldn’t be any better if it was 120 Seconds with Sutcliffe. I’d bet most of the meetings you’ve attended in your life wouldn’t have improved if only they’d been twice as long. So why is Twitter considering raising its character limit from 140 to 280?

Yes, it’s sometimes hard to fit your message in one tweet, but that’s the whole point. The value of Twitter is that people are forced to be concise. And the result is that you can quickly scan through a series of messages to find out what people are saying, without having to devote a lot of time to each post. Sure, people find ways to circumvent the limits, such as linking several posts together in a chain.

But even then they are forced to organize that sequence into short messages. Under increasing pressure from trendier social media players, Twitter is struggling to be relevant. But it shouldn’t abandon its main redeeming quality. If I want to read long, protracted messages from people who could really use a good editor, I’ll go to Facebook.

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