Twitter Drops The 140 Character Limit For Direct Messages

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This article originally appeared on 60 Second Social.

As of last Wednesday, Twitter users can now send each other direct messages which are more than 140 characters in length. The maximum amount of characters under the new changes will be 10,000. Don’t be alarmed if you haven’t seen the changes yet, Twitter is gradually rolling it out to users so even when you update the app on Android or iOS there may still be a limit on DM characters for a short while.

Personally it took two days after I updated the app on Wednesday until the limit came off DM characters so don’t panic, its not necessarily an instant change. In a blog post which the company published on Wednesday they said that;

“You can now chat on (and on) in a single direct message, and likely still have some characters left over.”

Twitter also has emphasised in the post that while you can now send really long DMs to other users, the 140 character limit will remain on public tweets. It makes sense, Twitter has always had speed and an emphasis on getting to the point at its core so there is no reason to remove the 140 character limit and allow the possibility of monstrous tweets on timelines, that is not what Twitter is about…not yet anyway…

Direct Messages now go beyond 140 characters. Go long, express yourself, wax poetic: https://t.co/zr2lnTfOI7 pic.twitter.com/o4eSv6Wv5u

— Twitter (@twitter) August 12, 2015

Direct messages on the other hand is a different type of ball game. More often than not you need more than 140 characters in a private message, there is no real reason for Twitter to limit the length of direct messages to something so short. Twitter is trying to broaden its appeal to a larger audience and after enabling group messages in January, removing the limit on those messages is the next logical step.

Elsewhere, some Twitter users have noticed design changes on the iOS Twitter app which have been happening server side. Because it is a server based update, there is no app store update to change the appearance of the app. It will simply change for certain accounts selected by Twitter.

The testing is known as A/B testing where one design is tested against the old design on different pools of users for feedback. At the weekend the appearance of my Twitter app changed, here is the new design which is currently in testing.

The blue bar at the top is replaced with a white bar, the cursor when composing a new tweet is also blue and on the profile page the buttons for tweets, media and favourites have changed from grey to blue.

A plain white bar at the top would make sense if this is a change that Twitter elect to go for as the Twitter webpage on the desktop has a whit bar at the top with a blue Twitter logo when you log in. Changing the app to reflect the same style would bring about uniformity between the two.

However it is important to keep in mind that this is just a test, there is not guarantee that we will see this design rolled out to public users in an update. A/B design testing is something I have always disliked personally, either have faith in your design and launch it or don’t change it at all.