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Twitter to Keep 140-Character Limit

By Evan Niu, CFA - Mar 18, 2016 at 3:00PM

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Twitter's characteristic limit isn't going anywhere.

What happened?
Following months of speculation about whether or not Twitter (TWTR 2.68%) would abandon its characteristic 140-character limit on tweets, CEO Jack Dorsey has confirmed on The Today Show that the company has decided to keep it. Dorsey said the limitation is better for "of-the-moment brevity."

Does it matter?
Last year, Twitter abandoned the character limit in direct messages and seriously considering doing likewise with tweets as the company considers a wide range of improvements to its core product. User growth continues to slow, and removing the limit had the potential of appealing to a wider range of users.

Management has acknowledged that the core product is not intuitive to the average user, which is a significant hurdle to broader adoption. While removing the character limit may have helped, there are still other challenges to address. Among other possibilities, Twitter is also experimenting with curation algorithms (like its big blue rival) instead of its typical feed that is displayed unfiltered in reverse chronological order.

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