New York: Now you can opt to receive direct messages from other users on Twitter even if you are not following them. Previously, in order to receive a direct message from another person, you had to follow that user on Twitter.
For some public figures, and especially for journalists, that restriction made it difficult to communicate more privately.
Twitter had first experimented with this setting in 2013 with a select user base. But it was not made public.
But now any Twitter-user can turn this option for themselves if they choose, TechCrunch reported.
Related to this change, the company is also updating its messaging rules so that you can reply to incoming direct messages regardless of whether that person follows you in return.
And to better highlight the newly-added option, Twitter says that a new Direct Message button will appear on profile pages on both Android and iPhone.
This button will only appear on the profiles of people you can send direct messages to, making it more obvious with a glance who’s turned the feature on already.
Finally, if someone who has the “Receive Direct Messages from anyone setting” switched on begins to receive spam or abuse, they can still block the abuser on Twitter in order to stop that account from being able to DM them.
The updates come at a time when private communication apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp are significantly growing their respective user bases and increasing their users’ engagement.
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