I enjoyed the article at the link above, along with this cartoon by Robert Crumb. "Chat rooms" became prevalent in 1988 and led to instant messaging tools, which have morphed into current microblogging services. This has been the evolution of chatting online in real time, with much creativity. Then add mobile phones and texting, which expanded outside the US even faster than within, and became widespread only in the last decade.
The maximum length of an 8-bit data message is 140 characters, same as for Twitter. People are now used to composing short messages.
The Crumb cartoon was published originally in Zap Comix and can also be seen here