Forget the days of Twitter being a concise messaging platform. The microblogging site will forego limiting direct messages to 140 characters and instead cap private messages at 10,000 characters, Twitter announced in the developer's community blog post Thursday.
Announcement: Removing the 140-character limit from Direct Messages. https://t.co/Y885KhE9jR
— TwitterDev (@TwitterDev) June 11, 2015
Long gone are the days when Twitter users were challenged to be concise. While once all tweets were limited to 140 characters, the network altered that limitation with its retweet with comment feature in April 2015. And now, instead of sending continuous messages maxed out at 140 characters each, that's expanded.
Writing concisely is indeed a feat. As French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in "Lettres Provinciales," "I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time." And as Martin Luther King, Jr. noted in his "Letter From Birmingham Jail," the task is better with comfort: "I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else is there to do when you are alone for days in the dull monotony of a narrow jail cell other than write long letters, think strange thoughts, and pray long prayers?"
For context, here is what we're dealing with here:
- 10,000 characters is about 2,500 words
- President Abraham Lincoln's "The Gettsyburg Address" is 272 words
- Herman Melville's "The Fiddler" is 2,384 words
- President Barack Obama's 2015 State of Union is 6,718 words
Journalists reacted with worry over the upcoming public relations pitches that can now be sent via direct message. In April 2015, Twitter let users opt to receive all direct messages.
Sliding into your DMs like WOAH THIS IS A LOT OF TEXT https://t.co/nYQDgx1RJ0
— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) June 11, 2015
That sound you hear is just PR people rejoicing about their newfound power to pitch you on Twitter.
â€” Seth Fiegerman (@sfiegerman) June 11, 2015
The Twitter DM change was big news for about 140 seconds
— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) June 11, 2015