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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Nixes Idea of Expanding 140-Character Limit

Exec also emphasizes that the company does not censor users in 'Today' show interview

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says the service’s iconic 140-character message limit isn’t going away.

On NBC’s “Today” show Friday, Dorsey said the company has no plans to expand the 140-character limit, which dates back to Twitter’s launch in 2006. “It’s staying,” he said. “It’s a good constraint for us, and… it allows for of-the-moment brevity.”

Twitter had been rumored to be contemplating rolling out the ability to post tweets with up to 10,000 characters by the end of March, after allowing direct messages of up to 10,000 characters last year.

While Dorsey said the 140-character text limit will stay in place, it’s possible Twitter could still introduce ways of linking to lengthier posts on the service. In a January tweet — which Dorsey posted as an image to get around the character limit — the exec ruminated on the possibility of adding text search and highlighting features for longer messages. “We’re not going to be shy about building more utility and power into Twitter for people,” he wrote at the time. “As long as it’s consistent with what people want to do, we’re going to explore it.”

Dorsey appeared on the NBC morning talk show to mark the 10th anniversary of the company. The exec, who returned as CEO of Twitter last fall, sent the very first tweet on March 21, 2006.

In an interview with “Today” host Matt Lauer, Dorsey was asked whether Twitter censors users. “Absolutely not,” he said. “Twitter has always been about controls. People can follow who they want, and it’s our job to make sure they see the most important things.”

Dorsey acknowledged that Twitter removed a video posted by Islamic terrorist group ISIS that personally threatened retaliation against him and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “I found it alarming,” Dorsey told Lauer.

Twitter has wrestled with the problem of making the service easier to use and more useful, while preserving the features its core user base loves. In the fourth quarter of 2015, Twitter’s monthly active users declined by 3 million, to 305 million.

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