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Twitter CEO stepping down, 140-char limit on Direct Messages to be extended to 10K in July


Twitter has officially confirmed that CEO Dick Costolo will give up his position, and co-founder Jack Dorsey will step in as interim CEO from July 1. Costolo had been under intense scrutiny after weaker than expected Q1 results, though will remain on Twitter’s Board of Directors. In their official announcement, the micro-blogging site clearly noted that they will use a ‘Search Committee’, that’ll include co-founder Evan Williams, to conduct a global search for Twitter’s next CEO.

These are trying times for Twitter. The company hasn’t met expectations and failed to realize its potential recently, with audience and revenue growth both falling way behind than anticipated. The company recently also acquired Periscope and struck a new deal with Google, which do indicate that the company is strategically placed to capitalize on future opportunities. Though many industry experts and investors have raised their concerns whether Costolo is the right man to get them where they want to be.

Hence, earnings and revenue on Wall Street must have played a pivotal role forcing Dick Costolo to step down, though one can’t take away the fact that Twitter has been phenomenal in terms of adoption during the past couple of years under his leadership. Costolo has indeed done his bit to make the platform grow. However, it seems earnings on the Wall Street is the utmost priority for the company’s top management at the moment.

Following this announcement, Twitter’s share rose by 7.4 percent in after-hours trading, suggesting the increased positivity among investors surrounding the move.

Meanwhile, Twitter also announced on Thursday that it’ll be expanding the 140-character limit in its direct messages, to a whopping 10,000 characters. This change takes effect in July, though the 140-character limit on public tweets remains the same.

The company has been making significant changes to its direct message functionality over the past year. It announced a messaging feature in January, which allowed 20 users to read DM threads at once. While in April, the company introduced an option for users to receive direct messages from anyone, even from users they don’t follow. Before this feature was rolled out, users could only receive direct messages from accounts they followed and vice versa.

The micro-blogging site also rolled out a new feature recently that lets users share their block lists to get rid of multiple trolls in one go, allowing users to block multiple accounts at once. Twitter hopes that by doing this, users who are facing harassment on its site will be able to deal with the issue much more efficiently and eventually not abandon the platform altogether.

Twitter has been tightening the noose in its terms and services, banning indirect threats and expanding its definition of inappropriate behavior. In December last year, the company made its easier for users to report abusive content. While in March they totally banned revenge porn and curbed other stolen nude photos from being posted on the platform.

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