This week Twitter continued its self-destructive behavior when it expanded its Tweet length to 280 characters.
This is a problem because Twitter has been defined by constraint. It was the value proposition for users. When I looked at my feed there was the promise that no one person would take too much of my bandwidth.
So for the past decade we learned to speak and share in a way that was limited. Twitter forced us to craft our thinking carefully. There were those tortured by the idea of getting to the point The time at the mike was limited and some just couldn’t do it.
And there was a pact between myself, those I let into my feed and Twitter. Twitter brought the platform. And if you brought me value in 140 characters, I’d listen to you. That was the arrangement when I put my sweat equity into this platform.
Sure, there may be circumstances where 280 characters brings benefit. But like long-form writing, it’s hard to pull it off.
In a world of exploding information what we need is an imperative to say less or say it cleaner.
And that’s how Twitter originally disrupted the infosphere.
If you liked Twitter and the Lack of Constraint you might like:
- The 500 Word Constraint. Even the main stream media understands the importance of keeping it tight.
- Constrained Media. A brief definition of constrained media with some interesting links.
- The Post-It Pearl as a Sign of the Times. How the limits of a Post-It Note can make education stick.
- Health Message Design for Constrained Media