Twitter announced today through their company blog that the service will significantly raise the character cap on direct messages (DMs).
The previous limit for DMs was 140 characters, the same as status updates made through the service. The new limit is 10,000 chaacters, over 70 times the previous amount. The change was done in waves of updates to the service’s various apps including Android, iOS, Tweetdeck, Twitter for Mac, as well as Twitter.com.
In the post Sachin Argarwal, Product Manager at Twitter, said that this will have no effect on the public side of Twitter. “In a word, nothing,” Sachin said, “Tweets will continue to be the 140 characters they are today, rich with commentary such as photos, videos, links, Vines, gifs, and emoji.”
Argarwal also posted in the Twitter developer forums that while it is not possible in the current API, the team is looking into group DMs for future development.
This is a drastic change to the micro-blogging service, which began in 2006 before the prominence of smartphones. The 140 character limit is the same as a standard text message, which allowed a tweet and username to fit within one text.
With the prominence of smartphones and messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Twitter appears to be shifting gears to take on new challenges. Along with the company’s acquisitions of Vine and Periscope, they look to be building a steady block of mobile sharing platforms.
The update will continue to roll out worldwide “over the next few weeks” according to the post.