Twitter rules out 10,000 character tweets, saying shorter limit is a 'good constraint'

Twitter has promised not to add its hugely controversial 10,000 character limit, and will keep tweets at their current and much shorter limit.

The company was rumoured last year to be looking at increasing the character limit to allow people to post longer tweets. But the suggestion was one of the most controversial Twitter features ever, leading some people to proclaim that it would lead the site to die.

CEO Jack Dorsey appears to have listened to those complaints, saying that the site will keep its 140-character limit.

“It’s staying,” he said on NBC's Today show. “It’s a good constraint for us, and… it allows for of-the-moment for everything.”

Previous reports have suggested that the company was working on its 'Beyond 140' project and that it would launch in the first quarter of the year.

Mr Dorsey didn’t rule out that the site would add other ways of adding extra text to tweets. The site has gradually been expanding the character limit by allowing people to add pictures, polls and other multimedia into tweets without taking up space — a tool that has been used by people including Mr Dorsey to take screengrabs of longer messages that wouldn’t fit within their own update.

Some have suggested that the 10,000 character limit might be added in a similar way, allowing people to attach text posts to their updates that users could expand to look at.

The 140 character limit originally came to Twitter so that people could send messages that would fit in the limit for a text message. Though that feature is now little used, many hold the limit to be integral to the microblogging service, and the suggestion that it might eventually be broken was greeted with a wave of protests.