Twitter changes character limits in DMs – Potential for this

I wrote a blog post called Iterations, it’s going live on this blog tomorrow but people are getting it via DM tonight.

Twitter DM character limit change
Over the past few days for many of us on Twitter, the 140 character limit for DMs (private messages) has been replaced with a 10,000 character limit. That’s about 1500 to 1800 words. A good but short blog post.

For brands, this removing of the brevity limit might turn into a pain in the hole as a customer asks the most long winded questions ever whereas before they had 140 characters so brevity worked in your favour. I liked Twitter for that as I get emails from some people that are 4-5 paragraphs long and don’t need more than a “Yes” or “No” reply. Not now!

Reading a long DM is actually nice and easy too.

Still, I think there are many uses for these loosening of restrictions

  • It might be a perfect bounce back for customers as you can DM them a few pages from the manual that they’ve not read and that keeps them occupied for a while.
  • It’s a very handy way for an analyst to send on a briefing doc to the media. Slightly faster than email and keeps the buzz going on Twitter.
  • Authors can release short stories or a preview of their new book in the form of a chapter sample.
  • For those on crappy connections, you could request a pared down copy of a webpage from a Twitter account. Like the old Email2FTP services.
  • You could with a little work run a training course to people via DM. SEO Nick runs an SEO course via email. One part per day. Buffer is currently doing the same with an email a day on social media strategy. DMs could offer the same.
  • And with a bit of scripting this could turn into a handy service for organisations to distribute information privately to people. See below:

A Man for all occasions

More on that last point. In Unix the Man command serves you pages from the user manual.

man FTP – gives you the page(s) on using FTP for example.

There have been lots of comparisons to various web services now just doing a version of various Unix commands. You could do the same with Twitter and long DMs. Ask the Twitter account of a company/org for certain things and get a few pages of notes back. Think now about organisations like Samaritans or Spunout or other organisations around issues that still carry a stigma like family planning issues, mental health or eating disorders.

I know a few organisations on Facebook do not get interactions or even subscribers because people are afraid friends or family will see their interactions. It can easily be programmed now for someone to send a private message to these organisations, without following them and ask information from them. A manual of commands could even be sent on the first DM to the organisation.

So maybe you DM (private message) Spunout with the word “Help” and they send you back all the commands that allow you to get information. From there you pick a topic.
d Spunout depressed, d Spunout cutting, d Spunout threesomes

Commercially this can apply to a company too. You could DM Eircom with speed and your account number for support or information. The commands could reflect the tree that you get when you ring a support line.

I’ve already noticed that DMs are now paragraph in size with some people and surprisingly this can make conversations more efficient not less so.

Happy DMing

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