Twitter announced today that its direct messaging service will be made available to every user on the social network, allowing users to communicate with each other privately. The feature which was first introduced in 2011 only for verified accounts was made available for broader number of users in 2013 but it was never open for general users of Twitter.
Prior to this announcement, the way direct messaging works is that the user who intends to send a direct message to another user needs to be following that specific user. But this caused a gap of communication between users like journalists, sources etc. who were unable to communicate directly and often ended up asking in an open tweet to get a follow back so that they can communicate via direct messages.
Starting from today, any restrictions on using the direct message (dm) service have been lifted and any user of Twitter can now send direct messages to other users. To do this, users have to enable an option in their settings to receive direct messages from strangers (or from people who are not following them). As for the mobile app version, Twitter app now has a direct message button on user profiles to turn on this feature.
The exact reason behind the decision to finally open direct messaging service to public users is still unclear, why didn’t Twitter do it in the first place when it launched the service few years ago. But one possible explanation can be found in Twitter’s blog post in which it explains how this new feature can help businesses and end users communicate efficiently.