It’s all change over at Twitter HQ this week, with the resignation of CEO Dick Costolo grabbing all the headlines. Though just a few hours before that announcement, Twitter published a blog revealing that Direct Messages would no longer be bound by the platform’s 140 character limit.
We’re removing the 140 character limit in DMs this July. If you are a developer, check out API documentation here: https://t.co/G5I3LmxLG6
— Sachin Agarwal (@agarwal) June 11, 2015
So, starting in July, you can type DMs as long as your heart desires without having to split it up into an often muddled series of texts to get your broken message across. The obvious first question is what about regular, good ol fashioned public Tweets?
Well, Twitter’s DM Product Manager makes a point of reassuring those worried onlookers about what else might change – “Nothing! Tweets will continue to be the 140 characters they are today.”
This marks the latest in a line of big changes to Direct Messaging from allowing something as simple as a URL to sharing Tweets via DM and permitting Group DMs. These updates were largely welcomed but have they had a massive impact on the average user’s experience? That’s hard to tell. How many people regularly use DMs? Do most people just keep an eye on the public surface? Who was calling for group DMs? Was that not the personal messaging space occupied by WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger etc etc.
Regardless, longer DMs could be a great help for those long-winded notes you don’t want to go public with. How that might work in a large Group DM session is another question (though that assumes large groups are using them regularly).
So, it seems times are changing over at Twitter. CEO gone, pressure from investors and the company’s desperation to attract and keep new users whilst also making all the advertising monies. This is what’s driving the platform changes too, to try and offer more. To keep people logging in and attracting new sign ups. This could be raising an inherent problem though:
Twitter’s identity was founded on a very simple principle – less is more. Now it seems the more Twitter offers, the less it receives.