Remember the first time that tweet you wrote exceeded the 140 character limit and you had to re-write it again and again before hitting that “Tweet” button? I remember my experience and it was quite a frustrating one. But why do Twitter’s founders implemented the popular 140 character limit?
Well, we now know and the answer comes straight from Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder and CEO.
When interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Dorsey revealed that the inspiration for the 140 character constraint came from… SMS. Because phones split messages at 160 characters, Twitter decided the 140 character constraint so when tweets were sent via SMS, they would not be split. So they took 20 characters that were going to be used for the username, and left 140 for the actual content. But why have a social media website based on SMS limitations? (the article continues after the ad)
The reason is that Twitter was an idea Dorsey had long before social media were a thing. In fact, the idea dates back to 2000 when the RIM 850 (BlackBerry’s predecessor) was introduced to the market. In 2005-2006, when SMS really took off in the US, Dorsey decided that that was the time to implement his idea so he started working on it having SMS in mind. But as time went by and internet came to be what we know it today, Twitter went online and became one of the greatest social media platforms.