Twitter has lifted one of its basic rules: the 140-character limit on messages sent with the service.
The financially-flustered micro-blogging platform today announced that the 140-character ceiling has been removed for direct messages, the peer-to-peer missives members can send each other without the rest of the world being able to peer at their conversations.
The change will appear in the service's Android and iOS apps, twitter.com, TweetDeck, and Twitter for Mac in coming days and weeks.
Twitter's financial woes are fuelled, in part, by slow user growth which is in turn partly attributable to the growth in and proliferation of messaging services that don't impose message length limits. Flicking the switch to longer messages therefore removes a potential objection to would-be Twitterers.
The company's also, through its recently-acquired data mining outfit Gnip, altered its API to make it possible to search every single Tweet its users have created since the dawn of time. Which for Twitter was March 21st, 2006. Twitter's previously offered a mere 30-day search API.
Only Gnip will be able to offer the whole-of-history search service, which Twitter reckons is just the thing for marketers trying to make sense of the world. Especially if they have a chequebook in their pockets. ®