Twitter to expand the DM character limit from 140 to 10,000

Could the fact that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced he was stepping down have something to do with the drastic product change?

twitter logo
Credit: Twitter

If you ever wanted to Twitter DM the entirety of War & Peace to a fellow Tolstoy enthusiast, you’ll soon be able to do it in fewer messages. 

On Wednesday Twitter announced that starting in July users will be able to send private direct messages to each other that are up to 10,000 characters long. The current limit is 140 characters, exactly the same as public tweets. Could this mean that public tweets might soon get overly verbose too? Not a chance, according to Twitter.

“You may be wondering what this means for the public side of Twitter. Nothing! Tweets will continue to be the 140 characters they are today,” wrote Sachin Agarwal, Twitter’s DM product manager.

Back in November, Kevin Weil, Twitter’s VP of product, wrote on the company blog: “Over the coming months, we are picking up the pace of product changes and improvements. As ever, that will involve a lot of experimentation, and we’ll be listening to your feedback along the way to make sure we build a service you love.”

And boy, did they keep to their word. In the last few months, the company has been releasing new features and product changes round-the-clock, especially when it comes to improving the direct messaging experience. In April Twitter users were able to send DMs to anyone, not just to their followers. In January, Twitter made it easier to start a private group conversation. And in November, Twitter users were first able to link to other public tweets in DMs.

Why this matters: It’s a rather auspicious time for Twitter, Inc. On Wednesday, the same day that the DM character expansion was revealed, the company also announced that its CEO Dick Costolo is stepping down, effective July 1. Costolo would often err on the side of being risk-averse when it came to running Twitter, but it’s clear that the social platform is trying more than ever to experiment. 

Twitter cofounder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey will step in as interim CEO of Twitter following Costolo’s departure. And with that, more changes are set to come.

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