Twitter Enables Direct Messages From People You Don’t Follow


In the past, sending DMs (direct messages) on Twitter used to be a feature only available for users who followed each other. You could send a DM to your followers but if you wanted to send a message to someone who’s not following you, you’d have to send out a public tweet and tag the user using their Twitter name. Now, Twitter is allowing users to send DMs to anyone regardless of whether they follow each other or not.

This new direct messaging functionality will be more beneficial for big companies and brands because it will allow their followers to send them messages and connect with them privately without having to follow each one of them. For other users like journalists, small business owners & bloggers (especially those with lots of followers) this feature can be a good way for their followers to send questions and feedback which they probably wouldn’t be willing to do in public.

The update has started rolling out to some users over the past few days but is not yet available to everyone. Btw, it will not be enabled by default so Twitter users will have to activate this new feature.

To enable or check whether you have access to this new DM feature, login to your Twitter account, click on the gear icon and click on Settings. Scroll down to Content and look for this option:

twitter dm

Although it can be helpful at times, I’m not sure if everyone will like it and opt-in to this new feature. Marketers, advertisers and spammers will most definitely take advantage of this. Personally, I’m still undecided whether I would enable it or not because I’m thinking about the amount of spam DMs I’ll be receiving once I activate this feature. Although there’s an option to block or report a user for spam so I guess it can be manageable.

If you’re a parent whose kids use Twitter or have younger siblings who do, it would be a good idea to discuss with them this new feature and most importantly the dangers of accepting and replying to DMs from strangers. Better safe than sorry!

What do you think of this new Twitter direct messaging update? Did you opt-in or not?

Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

2 Comments

  1. Jhay

    October 15, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    They have finally enabled this feature. It was kind of awkward to be forced into following someone just so you can DM them.

    But looks like this is being rolled out country-by-country first as the feature is not yet present in my account settings page.

    • JP Habaradas

      October 17, 2013 at 9:33 PM

      I know, right? Better late than never I guess.

      Twitter has disabled sending hyperlinks in DMs except for some reputable sites such as Facebook and Instagram which is a very good way to minimize spam, prevent malware and other malicious links.

      Yeah I guess it’s being rolled out by areas. Is it available in the Philippines now?

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