Twitter direct messages lean toward instant messaging

Gone are the days, when one had to follow users on Twitter before being allowed to send them a direct message on Twitter.

Unlike the previous pattern, Twitter now empowers users to send direct messages, even when the involved accounts are not following each other.

“We’re rolling out these changes starting today to all users around the world. And we have lots more in the works to improve direct messages on Twitter, so that the private side of Twitter is just as fulfilling as the public side,” said Twitter in an official blog statement.

The blog further adds that Twitteratis can use the feature with a change in account settings. Security and privacy settings enable the activation of receiving direct messages.

For a strategic push, the updated messaging allows users to reply to all messages regardless of whether or not that person follows the user. The micro blogging website plans to set up a new direct message option in its Android and iPhone apps too.

The option of messaging any Twitter user was rolled out initially in October, 2013 to a set of users, only to discontinue it a month later. With its re-launch, Twitter seems to be positioning itself beyond micro blogging.

A good day for brands? 

With the option of flak coming in through private messages rather than tweets that are accessible to all, brands can now take a beat. It also adds the personal touch that brands had been lacking on Twitter. New DM will help brands create a stronger call for action as they can send invites, coupons or other goodies while creating ambassadors.

Updated DM also works in favour of reporters and activists, who now have the option of contacting their leads directly.

On the downside, gaining a new follower gets less likely as tweeples now face no compulsion of having to follow an account to write to them privately.

All in all, Twitter seems to be working fast to match up with the pace of a more social site such as Facebook and the increasing usage of instant messaging apps.

Changes include:

  • A setting that allows you to receive Direct Messages from anyone, even if you don’t follow them. To change your settings follow these instructions.
  • Updated messaging rules so you can reply to anyone who sends you a Direct Message, regardless of whether or not that person follows you.
  • A new Direct Message button on profile pages on Android and iPhone. You’ll see it on the profiles of people you can send Direct Messages to.