The 140-character limit means paring, whittling, squeezing–and choosing words wisely
You have anywhere from three to 10 seconds to capture and hold someone’s attention in a conversation. On Twitter, you have 140 characters. Realistically, you have about one second if you consider the number of Twitter users (100 million+) and the number of tweets per second (1,000 to 4,000, depending on the current events). The point? If you don’t have a snazzy lede (am I old school for still spelling it that way?), you’re never going to get clicked.
So, tweeters got smarter. They saw what worked and what didn’t. They found ways to cut out the unnecessary info and focus on only the good stuff. They jazzed up their call to action. Basically, they became editors — and good ones at that (some of them, at least). Self-editing and style guidelines are now more important than ever because people can easily get content somewhere else. Although Strunk and White never imagined a need for a well-defined Elements of Twitter Style, it does raise one question: Can Twitter make you a better editor?