I was looking at Twitter’s lists of important and memorable Tweets, and spotted an obvious pattern: They’re short. Back when I was first getting into this, I used to have fun crafting tweets that occupied exactly 140 characters. That got boring pretty quick, and then I noticed that Twitter’s at its most fun when you get a bunch of people quoting and excerpting each other; and for that to work you need some room in the upstream tweets.

I’m wondering if the rules of the Twitter game could be modified to recognize the notion of an “original tweet”; with the historical size limit, but replies of one form or another allowed to extend the length.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Lee (Dec 21 2010, at 23:32)

Looking, not linking?


From: Stefan Sarzio (Dec 22 2010, at 00:03)

You could use Google Buzz while waiting for Twitter to change the limit. ;-)


From: LinkTiger (Dec 22 2010, at 14:36)

To save space, I suppose you could link to the tweet in question with a t.co short link. Ideally, #newtwitter would have an embedded right-side display for links to tweets (like they do for YouTube videos & Twitpics), but for now, this "solution" is pretty annoying to readers.


From: Eve M. (Dec 23 2010, at 12:11)

Surely I can't be the only person who has thought of making certain tweets a max length of 140 - ("RT" + " " + "@" + my handle + " "). If I'm saying/passing along something in which there may be wide interest, why not help out any RTers out there?


From: len (Jan 03 2011, at 10:32)

The wisdom of aphorism: there is none.


From: IBBoard (Jan 04 2011, at 05:03)

Isn't the limit supposedly all to do with SMS? Yeah, smart phones are more and more popular, but SMS is still going strong. In that case then excluding bits wouldn't make sense for fitting in the length of a text message.

The one I'd always thought was obvious was "@username:timestamp" or similar. It'd only really be useful for smarter clients, but then HTTP links aren't necessarily useful on dumber phones anyway. It'd let you "reply" to a tweet or reference it while also making it public, but keeping the association between the two. Smarter clients could then do another query (in the way that some clients doing conversation threads anyway) and replace the reference if they wanted.


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