Twitter made an announcement about a change coming this July related to the Direct Message character limit. It said on its blog, the Twitter Developer forum that the 140 character limit on the direct message has been eliminated and extended to a whopping 10,000 characters. It is indeed a drastic extension. However, the same hasn’t been carried out for public tweets, which retain their 140 character limit.
It seems to appear that this step was taken to compete with other social media messaging platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn etc. which do not have any word or character limit. Twitter aims to please investors and satisfy its users’ needs with this initiative.
To make the change seamless, the product manager of Direct Messages – Sachin Agarwal posted API recommendations for developers. Users can stop receiving unwanted long messages from people they don’t follow by unchecking the ‘Receive direct message from anyone’ option in the settings.
However, the change wasn’t appreciated much by Twitter investor Chris Sacca who had written a blog post listing things twitter can do to improve and said that although there were some extreme changes being made, he did not have any issues with the character limit of direct messages. According to him, this wasn’t a necessary step to be taken at this point of time.
It may look like Twitter is losing its momentum as this change was disparaged by many. Critics said that Twitter is losing its uniqueness; the distinctive feature Twitter is known for – the length limit of its messages and tweets. This change will make it no different from other messaging platforms.
According to the website, Twitter has 302 million monthly active users as of the 31st March, 2015 with 80% active users on mobile. With this vast number of consumers using Twitter to communicate with each other, the company decided to make personal conversations a bit easier by increasing the length limit of direct messages to 10,000 characters.
In the long blog post by Twitter investor Chris Sacca, he mentioned that Periscope and TellApart are strong acquisitions made by the company along with some well executed partnership situations and marquee M&A which clearly explain the speedy revenue growth of 74% year over year. He also praises the deal with Google which has in the past and will help Twitter in the long run.
Twitter’s progress was highlighted by its initiatives like Instant Timeliness, While You Were Away, and Highlights for Android. Twitter’s main challenges include the number of inactive users and slow growing user base which it aims to overcome in the near future and surpass its targets and competitor with gradual changes like these.