Put the pitchforks down, Twitter users. CEO Jack Dorsey told NBC’s Today Show this morning that the service’s signature 140-character limit isn’t going anywhere.
He made the comments in an appearance with hosts Matt Lauer and Carson Daly about Twitter’s 10th anniversary, which happens on Monday.
“It’s staying,” Dorsey said in response to Lauer asking specifically about the 140-character limit. “It’s a good constraint for us and it allows for of-the-moment brevity.”
When Lauer followed-up by asking “You’re not changing anything?,” Dorsey told him, “We’re changing a lot. We’re always gonna make Twitter better.” After that, Dorsey reiterated one more time that tweets would remain 140 characters. You can see the exchange at the beginning of this NBC video clip.
Rumors that Twitter would expand tweets beyond 140 characters date back to at least last fall, and picked up steam in early January with reports that tweets would expand to 10,000 characters in Q1 of this year.
Those reports prompted backlash from users that don’t want Twitter’s signature feature to change. At that time, Dorsey quickly responded with a tweet that, ironically, was so long that he had to post it as an image. Dorsey seemed open then to the idea of expanding tweets, pointing out how many users post images to say more than a tweet allows, and asking “….what if that text … was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power.” He also promised to tell Twitter developers in advance “if we decide to ship what we explore.”
Asked this afternoon about the Today Show exchange, a Twitter spokesperson declined to add anything to what Dorsey said.
Last August, Twitter expanded the size of direct messages to a max of 10,000 characters, a move that — among other things — helps brands more easily provide customer service on the platform.