In an apparent effort to encourage its users to engage with its platform more freely, Twitter last week announced that it is removing the 140 character limit on Direct Messages.
In a post on the Twitter Developers blog, Twitter product manager Sachin Agarwal explained:
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.
With the new 10,000 Direct Message character limit, Twitter users will be able to communicate more easily in a one-to-one fashion. As part of the announcement, Twitter is revising its APIs so that third party developers with applications offering direct messaging functionality can update their applications in advance of July.
Twitter says it has no plans to change the character limit on public tweets, which will remain at 140.
What it means for brands
The removal of the 140 character limit for Direct Messages is the second major recent change to direct messaging on Twitter that has a potentially big impact on brands. In April, Twitter made it possible for users to accept DMs from any other Twitter user without following them.
That previous requirement was particularly problematic for customer service use cases, since brands might have good reasons not to want to follow other users just to be able to interact directly with them.
The ability to send Direct Messages of up to 10,000 characters will also help support customer service use cases on the popular social platform. After all, many customer service issues require more than 140 characters to explain, so up until now, brands have been forced to make do with interactions that are less than efficient.
In July, that will change and in many cases, brands will finally be in a position to provide the same type of customer support through Twitter that they currently provide through email.