Twitter is a public broadcast platform, but it’s also increasingly a one-to-one and one-to-many private communication mechanism. The company announced today it’s taking that even further with a change to its direct messaging capability: Beginning in July, DMs will no longer carry the 140 character limit Twitter enforces for its public posts.
The change to DMs is being telegraphed in order to help developers using Twitter’s API prepare for the incoming shift, since it’ll mean adjusting to handle possibly huge blocks of text coming through the DM system.
Direct Message character limit removal probably makes a lot of sense to anyone who uses the feature regularly. Brevity is key in the public-facing stream of Twitter itself, since that’s the whole point of the “micro-blogging” platform. But in private, it just means you often have to break up longer thoughts over multiple messages, and doing so can actually be really annoying.
These changes are set to begin in July, so for now you’re still limited to 140 characters in DMs. In standard Tweets, that 140 character limit isn’t going anywhere, so you’ll have to just stick to tweetstorms for your crazy rants.
DMs have increasingly become more flexible and more powerful, and more easily used between individuals. Twitter looks poised to make it into a full-fledged competitor for platforms like FB Messenger if it continues down this path.