#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 5°C Saturday 4 December 2021

Twitter now allows you to send anyone a direct message

Here’s what you need to know.


SLIDING INTO PEOPLE’S direct messages (DMs) has just gotten infinitely easier.

giphy (6) Source: gfisboom

Twitter has announced a significant new change to its private messaging feature.

In a blog post published yesterday, the tech giant 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 flavour, you’d have to ask them to follow you first.

Now, as Twitter explains, you can just message the “ice cream shop” (read: the big ride you fancy) and you don’t need to send this dreaded tweet…


But wait, will you be able to receive DMs from anybody?

Not so fast.

It’s an opt-in service, meaning you have to change your privacy settings to enable people to message you.


However, there are a few exceptions.

Ars Tehnica reports that if a person follows you and you don’t follow them, they will be able to contact you via DM once you instigate the conversation.

They will then be able to continue contacting you, regardless of whether or not you have opted in to the “receive direct messages from anyone” feature.

Ars Technica also identified a bit of a flaw – if you have previously DMed a person you follow and you unfollow them for whatever reason, they will still be able to contact you by direct message, which potentially opens the floodgates for abuse or harassment.

Apparently, the only way around this is to delete your whole chat history with the person.

Elsewhere, the feature will make it easier for brands to engage with customer service queries in private rather than in public. But those who opt in to receive direct messages from anyone could find themselves spammed with DMs from brands.

Tread carefully, everyone.


Read: Senator cracks down on cyberbullying after being told she’d be ‘hatcheted in the face’ >

More: 7 things everyone does when they fancy someone on Twitter >

About the author:

Amy O'Connor

Read next: