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Twitter to abolish 140-character limit for DMs

Private messages, unseen by others, can now be as verbose and meandering as users wish - though tweets will remain unchanged

Tom Brooks-Pollock
Friday 12 June 2015 20:54

Twitter is to remove the 140-character limit on direct messages sent privately between users, in a move bound to delight fans of long-winded secret diatribes.

Users will be able to send DMs of unlimited length to each other from next month, the firm has announced on a website aimed at developers.

But the news does not spell the death of the art-form that is the short, pithy or gnomic tweet - as public as posts on the website will continue to be limited to 140 characters.

Tweets may be less likely to be confused with DMs as a result of the change, presumably a source of relief for those who have inadvertently tweeted embarrassing or overly-frank private messages.

Last year, Anthony Noto, Twitter's chief financial officer, was guilty of a 'DM fail' of his own when he tweeted, apparently about a business deal.

In a tweet that was quickly deleted, he wrote: "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."

Dick Costolo said there was no excuse for Twitter’s failure over harassment

And Ian Katz, editor of Newsnight on BBC2, apologised to Rachel Reeves, the Labour front-bencher, after accidentally telling his followers that she was "boring snoring" after she had appeared on his show.

Announcing the change online, Sachin Agarwal of Twitter wrote: "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. "

The news came as Dick Costolo announced his resignation 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.

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