The long-pending 140 character restriction specific to the Direct Messages has been removed to encourage more private conversations. Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Twitter on Wednesday announced the removal of the widely criticized 140-character restriction in Direct Messages, in a move to encourage more private conversations between users.

Even though Twitter is popularly used for public posts, the Direct Messages feature allows users to engage in private conversations. Twitter first hinted the possibility of the removing the character limit, specific to Direct Messages, in June. The removal was previosly expected to be rolled out in July.

“You can now chat on (and on) in a single Direct Message, and likely still have some characters left over," according to Twitter’s official blog post.

However, readers should note that the removal of the character limit does not apply to regular tweets, GSM Arena reported, adding that "it doesn't look like the company is even considering giving that up."

In addition, the restriction removal will reportedly be rolled out to the Twitter app for Apple iOS and Google Android as well, while TweetDeck and Twitter for Mac will also receive the update eventually.

The rollout will apparently take a couple of weeks before it reaches all Twitter users across the globe. With the restriction lifted, Twitter be competing directly with other mainstream messaging apps.