Twitter is expanding its foray in private messaging to make it easier for you to have a real conversation in private. Announced Thursday, Twitter will remove its 140-character limit for direct messages, which means you'll be able to chat as much as you please without anyone knowing the wiser. Well, you probably won't be able to message your entire life memoir since your DMs will actually be restricted to 10,000 characters. If each word was on average five words, that would equal about 2,000 words.
There's no word yet when the shift will go into effect, though Twitter's Sachin Agarwal told developers it would happen sometime in July. The 140-character limit for Twitter's public tweets will remain unchanged. Which I, for one, am thankful for because can you imagine how convoluted your feeds will look like?
The site has been slowly changing a number of its longstanding rules in recent months. In April, Twitter allowed users to DM anyone. (Before, both people were required to follow each other in order to start a private thread.) Earlier this year, Twitter added group messaging so multiple people could divulge their dirty little secrets (among other things) in one private thread. And in a major reform of its site monitoring, Twitter introduced new rules on abusive accounts to better prevent online bullying and harassment.
So what will this new DM policy mean for your Twitter habits?
- You won't have to write "(1/4)" at the end of a first DM in a four-part message.
- You can reach out to potential employers in a professional and friendly manner without sacrificing any characters.
- You can send raunchy sexts to your SO in peace with as many emojis as you want.
- You can group message your friends without getting confused about the conversation's topic.
- You'll probably get spammed with 10,000-character messages now, instead of the more manageable 140.
The DM change comes the same day Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced he would step down. Co-founder and board chairman Jack Dorsey would return as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found. With so many other messaging options — Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp — Twitter is hoping the DM update will help it become more competitive. The company has struggled in meeting revenue expectations and user growth has slowed. Whether unlimited characters will improve Twitter use won't really be obvious except to the company because, well, the messages are private. Duh.
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