In a major overhaul of direct messaging functionality, Twitter has announced the ability to accept messages from anyone.
With immediate effect, users will find a tick box in Security and Privacy settings that activates the feature.
They’ve also made a number of other changes, including:
- the ability to reply to a person who sends you a direct message, regardless of whether you follow them or not.
- a new button for direct messaging on the profile page of Android and iPhone device
In their example of how you might use the feature, Twitter said:
“Previously, if you wanted to send a Direct Message to the ice cream shop down the street about how much you love their salted caramel flavor, you’d have to ask them to follow you first. With today’s changes, the ice cream shop can opt to receive Direct Messages from anyone; so you can privately send your appreciation for the salted caramel without any barriers.”
We’re not sure why you’d want to hide that from everyone else in the world (is it a sin to like salted caramel ice cream?), and it does somewhat defeat the object of a brand receiving plaudits in public, but you have the choice nonetheless.
The change follows the earlier upgrade in January when Twitter released group direct messaging. If you’ve missed that news release, Twitter now allows you to select multiple recipients and engage in a private conversation with selected individuals (rather like you can do on Facebook). With group direct messaging you’re limited to up to 20 people taking part in the conversation.
We’d be interested to hear any thoughts on how you think you might use the new feature, so let us know in the comments below.