Twitter lets anyone broadcast their thoughts to the world… as long as they keep those thoughts to 140 characters at a time, or less. But starting in July you’ll be able to send Twitter messages that are longer… a lot longer.
Users will be able to compose messages up to 10,000 characters in length. There’s just one catch: you’ll only be able to send those longer messages as Direct Messages.
That means you can send a novella-length private message to another Twitter user, but if you want to broadcast longer messages to the public you’ll still need to chop them up into smaller chunks (or post a link to another website where people can read the full text).
Twitter’s 140 character limit initially made sense since one way to use the platform in its earliest days was to send Tweets via SMS. But as Twitter has grown up, people have come to use it in a variety of different ways. Now you can share pictures, videos, and even live-streaming video content.
Part of the platform’s appeal is the burst of short, headline-like messages which are easily digested more quickly than a typical Facebook or Google+ post. But direct messages are more like chat or email messages than broadcasts, so if Twitter was going to remove any character limits, it makes sense for the company to start with DMs.