Twitter has now given the green light to messages from strangers. From now on you can receive private messages from users who do not follow you. By allowing users to message each other freely Twitter intends to compete with messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger (600 million monthly users) and WhatsApp (800 million monthly users).
Up until now users could send private messages only to users who followed them. Now, according to the company, users will be able to receive direct messages from any users although they do not follow each other.
This new feature could be very useful especially for celebrities and large companies because they will now be able to respond to people who message them without needing to establish a connection beforehand.
However the company has also thought about those who worry about spam and abuse. Users can choose to change their account settings and select whether they want to receive direct messages or not.
The company said:
“We continue to invest in our private channel to lay the foundation for a powerful and engaging messaging experience.”
Organizations could use direct messages (DMs) in order to advertise, send coupons and appeals related to business to anyone who wants to and the users are free to respond. After all a message catches the attention more than a promoted tweet does. However users may consider these messages spam and get tired of them fast.
That is one of the reasons why Twitter’s new initiative has not been perceived with good eyes by everyone. A Forrester analyst, Fatemeh Khatibloo, said that this an improvement which brands will use on users who do not want to be bothered by such things.
Twitter has not yet mentioned whether they intent to use DMs as a mean for advertising. However they see this as a good opportunity for interaction for both companies and individuals. In a blog post Twitter said that they hope that this change will enable people, businesses and causes to interact easily and directly.
The company has been trying lately to increase its number of users by attracting both passive and active users. Twitter has recently released an app which enables people to stream live video. The app is known under the name of Periscope. The social network has also created curated lists which suggest feeds for new users.
Image Source: NY Post