Twitter will remove the 140 character limit from Direct Messages in July
Microblogging website, Twitter will remove the 140 character limit from Direct Messages in July.
The social network announced the news on its developer forums today.
Before you panic and think that this change applies to regular Tweets. Allow me to clarify that it isn’t the case. This what the DM Product Manager of Twitter, Sachin Agarwal, says:
You may be wondering what this means for the public side of Twitter. Nothing! Tweets will continue to be the 140 characters they are today.
This is a sensible move. In fact it is the 140 character limit for posting a Status, that has made Twitter popular and actually helped it survive the competition from Facebook.tt
If you don’t what DMs are, here is a quick description:
Direct Messages are private messages, that one Twitter user can send to another. It is a two-way conversation, allowing the other user to reply to the message received. It is similar to Instant Messaging, but does not have an IM interface. Direct Messages are displayed as conversation bubbles. Direct Messages are not restricted between two accounts, users can have group conversations.
Naturally, having a 140 character limit for private conversations is not a good idea, not just in general conversations, but especially if an important discussion is being held between users involved in the conversation. Just imagine a series of queries and replies with a 140 character limit (which includes spaces). It would be utterly chaotic, and would require a large number of DMs to convey a message, which could have been conveyed more easily without the character limit.
It is also worth noting that Twitter’s biggest rival, Facebook does not have a character limit for messages, or status posts.
Twitter recently announced that it is allowing users to receive direct messages from any user, regardless of whether you are following them or not. While at first glance, this looks like a disastrous move, this option is not enabled by default, and has to be manually enabled from the account’s settings page. While this feature may not be useful for general users, due to the obvious risk of spam messages, it will be useful for businesses who wish to hear from their customers.
The Verge says that the social network hasn’t announced the exact date, when Twitter will remove the 140 character limit from Direct Messages. So, it could be enabled anytime next month.
Personally I think Twitter should take Direct Messaging to the next level, and go with Instant Messaging. This could help the social network greatly, by making users spend more time on the website.