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Morgan Stanley embraces social media, lets advisers tweet

While still adhering to strict regulatory rules, the brokerage firm loosens its rules on what employees can say on Twitter.

Morgan Stanley's Twitter account. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Morgan Stanley announced Tuesday that many of its financial advisers will now have the freedom to tweet their own messages, according to The Wall Street Journal.

To most people this may seem like a so-what, but it's actually a significant step for the financial services sector -- which is beholden to strict regulatory rules.

Up until now, if Morgan Stanley's 16,000 advisers wanted to tweet, they had to select a preapproved tweet from the company's message catalog, according to the Journal. Now, they'll be allowed to craft their own one-liners using their official firm Twitter accounts. As of now, 1,300 brokers have been approved to tweet.

Of course, the newfound freedom still carries a couple of catches. To tweet, advisers must attend an online training course, have at least 15 followers, and get each message preapproved by the firm before posting. According to the Journal, the tweet approval process could take up to several hours.

Morgan Stanley isn't the only financial firm that's been slow to embrace social media. According to the Journal, Merrill Lynch doesn't yet let its advisers tweet or use Facebook, and Wells Fargo only allows a few of its brokers to post to Twitter.

CNET contacted Morgan Stanley for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.