Twitter at 10: Jack Dorsey rules out big tweets -- 140 is here to stay

A monochrome Jack Dorsey: Twitter co-founder, CEO, brevity fan.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO
Credit: Twitter

Mr @Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, popped up on TV, Friday, to mark the 10th anniversary of the first "Twttr" tweet. This is what he said: 140 characters is all you're getting, we don't censor, and we'll still be here in another 10 years.

BTW, although the press are all rabbiting on about a 10th anniversary, don't forget the first tweet was in fact tweeted on March 21, 2006. But it will be impossible to gat column inches on that day, unless you're a certain Cupertino company.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers speed up the news day. Not to mention: fractals, fractals, fractals!

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. [Developing story: Updated 5:13 pm and 2:25 am PT with more comment]


What's that weird flashing box in the corner? Eun Kyung Kim watched Dorsey on something called a Teevee:

Twitter founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey insists his social media platform does not censor user content. ... A decade after Dorsey sent the first-ever tweet...the platform now boasts 320 million active users. [But he] acknowledged that tweets promoting violence are against the company's terms of service.

Dorsey dispelled rumors that it plans to eliminate the 140-character limit. ... Dorsey also reflected on how Twitter has allowed the public to interact directly with celebrities. ... Dorsey predicted the company will continue to be an influencing force for decades.


Uh huh, right. Andrew Griffin spots what is obviously the most important soundbite—Twitter rules out 10,000 character tweets:

The company was rumoured last year to be looking at [allowing] people to post longer tweets...leading some people to proclaim that it would lead the site to die. ... “It’s staying,” he said on NBC.

The 140 character limit originally [was] so that people could send messages that would fit in...a text message. ... The suggestion that it...be broken was greeted with a wave of protests.


What else did Dorsey say? Abby Ohlheiser says Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey says:

The 10th anniversary of Twitter [is] Monday. ... Dorsey said on Friday that he’s never personally blocked anyone.

Blocking is the simplest tool...available to users experiencing abuse and harassment on Twitter. ... Twitter once tried to replace blocking with a less severe “mute” feature. ... The change was wildly unpopular...and the company reverted [the] feature within a day.

[But is] Twitter...censoring tweets for social or political reasons? That accusation has been gaining steam. ... Twitter has turned on algorithmic feeds...for all users.


OK, chill. Rebecca Vipond Brink wants us all to Relax:

Remember when, in January, Twitter unleashed a nightmare...considering expanding tweets to a preposterous 10,000-character limit. ... That terrible fever dream is over, friends.

We already had Instagram making big, nonsensical changes. ... Thank goodness for Jack Dorsey.


Let's be brief. Yoni Heisler also listened to the Twitter CEO:

Twitter seems to be plagued by problems. ... The company having a tough time attracting new users. ... It’s also performing poorly...shares of Twitter are now trading in the $16 range...an all-time low.

“It’s staying,” Dorsey said about the 140 character limit. “It’s a good constraint for us, and… it allows for of-the-moment brevity.”


Update 1: Everybody laugh. Anthony Ha joins in—Maybe don’t get too excited:

Has Twitter reversed course on plans to increase the character limit on tweets? ... I’m not convinced that there was really a big change of heart.

Did we really learn anything? ... If you were really worried that the 140-character limit was going to disappear...then yes, you can breathe a little easier. But...Dorsey deliver[ed] the same message that he did in January.


What does Twitter officially have to say? Kathleen Chaykowski is a proper journalist—Twitter's 140-Character Limit Is Here To Stay:

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment. ... Even though Dorsey says the...limit isn’t going away, it’s still possible [it] could introduce some kind of tweet-expanding feature. ... Since taking the helm in July, Dorsey has emphasized his commitment to making bold product changes.


Update 2: What we need now is for someone to write the word "spruik." Say g'day to Tim Elliott, who obliges us—What Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey did next:

Dorsey is coming to Australia in March to spruik his Square Reader device. ... At just 39, Dorsey is the CEO and co-founder of...Twitter, the social media platform, and Square, a mobile payments company.

Dorsey's personal wealth has been estimated [as] between $1.13 and $3.9 billion. [He] has blue eyes and a trim build; he is neatly bearded and immaculately coiffed.

For small, artisanal businesses – food stands, personal trainers – [Square] is a significant development. ... "It's about enabling people who were previously locked out of the economy."

Dorsey is a big name, but success is by no means assured. [He] seems serenely untroubled by this. ... A two-time college drop-out, he has studied botanical illustration and dress making, and [was] a massage therapist. ... He has variously expressed a desire to be fashion designer and the mayor of New York.

And yet Dorsey has an uneven reputation in the Valley. [He] seemed constitutionally incapable of crediting others...publically portraying himself as Twitter's sole creator.

And Finally…

What have fractals done for you lately?


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk.
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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