After neglecting the feature for years, Twitter began rolling out improvements to direct messages when Kevin Weil took over the product organization last fall. The company restored the ability to send links, added group and photo messaging, and began letting you share tweets natively inside the messages. The idea, Agarwal says, is to make DMs the place where you talk about the stuff you see on Twitter. "We want to make sure you can really fluidly move between public and private," he says. Among other things, removing the 140-character cap on messages make it easier for businesses to conduct customer service over DMs. "We want to make sure you can really fluidly move between public and private." Over the years, Twitter has explored releasing a stand-alone messaging app built on DMs, a la Facebook Messenger. I asked Agarwal how he thought about that question today. He wouldn't say anything about unreleased products, but suggested DMs functioned best as a kind of backchannel for Twitter: a place to take discussion of tweets, or the people tweeting them, to a private place. Get the full story at The Verge and Twitter Read also "Twitter lifts character limit: 3 benefits for Twitter business users" at Social Media Today