Twitter Removes 140-character Limit on Direct Messages – and What You Should Do Next

Twitter’s recent update removes the 140-character limit on Direct Messages, the platform’s “inbox” feature. This simply means that we no longer have to send longer messages by ‘breaking’ the message into shorter sections. The update also gives your business two opportunities to revamp your Twitter engagement strategy

Twitter is best for ‘knee-jerk content’ – instant posts that arguably doesn’t require the same amount of thought as say, Facebook or Instagram. This defining trait is what makes Twitter an excellent social listening platform; people tend to say what they’re really thinking, ‘protected’ from further scrutiny by the immensely short public lifespan of tweets. This also means users find Twitter to be one of the fastest ways to get in touch with a company or business, making the platform a quality customer service channel.

What You Should Do Next: Twitter is an excellent customer service platform – just take a look at how airlines and telecom companies use them. If you’re with a businesses that experiences a high volume of customer support queries on Twitter, the removal of the 140-character limit enables you to communicate more effectively with consumers who send in Direct Messages. Twitter’s Direct Message function essentially takes on the format – and efficiency – of emails and Facebook private messages. This would, hopefully, increase the success rates of resolving issues directly through Twitter, as opposed to forcing a conversation with users through a fragmented message.

The move to remove the 140-character limit on DMs also promotes more and real conversations, as opposed to merely sharing thought-snippets. It’s probably too early to say, but this could be Twitter’s experimental move to evolve its private messaging function into a full-blown messaging application; Facebook has done it with Messenger, with some measure of success.

What You Should Do Next: Twitter’s Direct Messages can probably be an opportunity to engage with consumers in much longer form. Aside from customer service, this longer space for conversation could be a way for your business to literally say more to queries, inquiries, and comments. More characters allow more details to be included, and this should be seen as a good thing as there is less chances of messages losing their contexts, or having portions of a message (broken up, as it were, in the old DM) ‘lag behind’ (or not send through at all) and thus mess up the full message.

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