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Twitter to abolish 140-character limit for direct messages

Published 12/06/2015

Twitter is removing the 140-character limit on direct messages
Twitter is removing the 140-character limit on direct messages

Twitter is to remove the 140-character limit on the private Direct Messages sent between users.

Beginning in July, the character limit will be lifted on messages that Twitter users send to each other, but it will not be removing the lock on public tweets posted to the site.

The move is believed to be an attempt to draw more users to the micro-blogging site.

In a post on Twitter's developer forum, the firm's Sachin Agarwal said: "We've done a lot to improve Direct Messages over the past year and have much more exciting work on the horizon. One change coming in July that we want to make you aware of now (and first!) is the removal of the 140 character limit in Direct Messages.

"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."

Both communications types on Twitter having the same limit has caused confusion in the past, and seen users accidentally publicly tweet messages intended to be privately sent.

One of Twitter's own executives mixed up the two last year, when chief financial officer Anthony Noto tweeted and then deleted a message apparently regarding a business deal.

"I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16 - we will need to sell him. I have a plan," he said.

Facebook has no limits on the number of characters allowed in public posts or private messages to the social network.

The news came as Dick Costolo stepped down as Twitter's chief executive . Investors are reportedly unhappy about the site being outperformed by Facebook, whose users can be as verbose and meandering as they wish.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down but will remain on Twitter's board of directors
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down but will remain on Twitter's board of directors

Twitter has around 300 million active users, while rival Facebook has over 1.3 billion.

Further reading

Twitter's Dick Costolo steps down as chief executive  

Twitter cracks down on 'revenge porn' and 'doxing' in user policy sharpening

Twitter blames Apple iOS 8 for losing millions of users

Twitter deal with Google will put tweets straight into search results

Twitter ‘sucks’ at protecting users from abuse, says CEO Dick Costolo

Twitter IPO: Investors in fine feather after $30bn float

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