You can now send Direct Messages of up to 10,000 characters as Twitter has removed the 140 character limit from the Direct Message function. Public tweets will remain capped at 140 characters.
Sachin Agarwal, Product Manager for Direct Messages at Twitter, explained the timeline:
We’ll begin rolling out this change today across our Android and iOS apps, on twitter.com,TweetDeck, and Twitter for Mac. It will continue to roll out worldwide over the next few weeks. If you can’t wait to try out longer Direct Messages, be sure you’re using the latest versions of our apps so you get the update right away. Sending and receiving Direct Messages via SMS will still be limited.
So why have Twitter made this change? There are a few reasons, but their main incentive is to provide an alternative to messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Instant messaging is a competitive marketplace and Twitter want a slice of the pie.
Over the last few months Twitter have made numerous changes to the Direct Messaging function. I spoke to Mashable at the end of last year about when to use group Twitter DM, and back in April Twitter allowed you to change your settings to receive Direct Messages from anyone, even if you don’t follow them.
Businesses using Twitter from a customer service perspective can benefit from all of these changes. Private Twitter conversations with customers won’t be capped and you can respond to those that have messaged the business without actively following it.