I don’t Twitter a lot, in spite of having an account which I visit once in a while and tweet at an even low rate. To me, Tweets are too short and too soon; The 143 characters is something too low a number to post an opinion without multiple breaks. Thats just my take and clearly it is different from the large segment of the rest of the world population.

Anyway, I am still wondering what made the Twitter founders to decided on restricting the length to 143 characters. Yesterday, during a dinner party I hear some of them commenting on this. I didnt get the rationale fully, but it was apparently chosen based on some SMS research, using curtailed English words.

I did a few Google search, but nothing quite came with the explanation. The Wikipedia interestingly has a page for 143. Would you believe? As it turns out, 143 indeed has some very interesting properties.

143 is the sum of three consecutive primes (43 + 47 + 53), as well as the sum of seven consecutive primes (11 + 13 + 17 + 19 + 23 + 29 + 31). But this number is never the sum of an integer and its base 10 digits, making it a self number.

Every positive integer is the sum of at most 143 seventh powers (see Waring’s problem).

143 is the difference in the first exception to the pattern shown below:

32 + 42 = 52
33 + 43 + 53 = 63
34 + 44 + 54 + 64 = 74 − 143