Twitter is to remove the 140-character limit on the private Direct Messages sent between users, the social network has confirmed.
Beginning in July, the character limit will be lifted on messages that Twitter users send to each other, but it will not be removing the lock on public tweets posted to the site.
The move is believed to be an attempt to draw more users to the micro-blogging site.
The news comes shortly after chief executive Dick Costolo announced he was stepping down, reportedly after investors became frustrated at the lack of user growth on the site. Twitter has around 300 million active users, while rival Facebook has over 1.3 billion.
In a post on Twitter’s developer forum, the firm’s Sachin Agarwal said: ‘We’ve done a lot to improve Direct Messages over the past year and have much more exciting work on the horizon. One change coming in July that we want to make you aware of now (and first!) is the removal of the 140 character limit in Direct Messages.
‘You may be wondering what this means for the public side of Twitter. Nothing! Tweets will continue to be the 140 characters they are today.’
Both communications types on Twitter having the same limit has caused confusion in the past, and seen users accidentally publicly tweet messages intended to be privately sent.
One of Twitter’s own executives mixed up the two last year, when chief financial officer Anthony Noto tweeted and then deleted a message apparently regarding a business deal.
‘I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16 – we will need to sell him. I have a plan,’ he said.
Facebook has no limits on the number of characters allowed in public posts or private messages to the social network.