Twitter has a large following, and while I love it for use at events or with “in the moment” experiences like sports, global catastrophes, entertainment, and breaking news, I think they have a long-term problem of unique relevance to address. I’m not sure there is anything that Twitter does that I can’t do via other apps that are more integrated into my life at this point, and I don’t have to struggle with a 140 character limit. Regardless of the long term issue, they have a large user base that any faith-based, social media marketer should pay attention to. We have Twitter “embassies” for every one of our social media clients.
They did something yesterday that helps a bit both for personal use and for marketers. The social network has begun rolling out updates to its Android, iOS, and Mac apps, as well as their own TweetDeck app and its website, that remove the often frustrating 140 character limit from individual direct messages. This should help increase usage among the most active part of their audience base while grabbing a piece of the massive text messaging market.
This change is rolling out over the next few weeks, so not all users will see the change immediately.
The 140 character limit will remain for Tweets sent publicly and direct messages sent via SMS.
Here’s Twitter’s own blog post about the DM character limit change:
We’re eliminating the 140-character limit, to make Direct Messages even more powerful and fun.If you’ve checked your Direct Messages today, you may have noticed that something’s missing: the limitation of 140 characters. You can now chat on (and on) in a single Direct Message, and likely still have some characters left over.While Twitter is largely a public experience, Direct Messages let you have private conversations about the memes, news, movements, and events that unfold on Twitter. Each of the hundreds of millions of Tweets sent across Twitter every day is an opportunity for you to spark a conversation about what’s happening in your world. That’s why we’ve made a number of changes to Direct Messages over the last few months. Today’s change is another big step towards making the private side of Twitter even more powerful and fun.
You may be wondering what this means for the public side of Twitter. In a word, nothing. Tweets will continue to be the 140 characters they are today, rich with commentary as well as photos, videos, links, Vines, gifs, and emoji. So, start working on those sonnets.
We’ll begin rolling out this change today across our Android and iOS apps, on twitter.com, TweetDeck, and Twitter for Mac. It will continue to roll out worldwide over the next few weeks. If you can’t wait to try out longer Direct Messages, be sure you’re using the latest versions of our apps so you get the update right away. Sending and receiving Direct Messages via SMS will still be limited.