Twitter Amends Direct Messaging: Receive Without Following

Here at OSM you’d expect us to be bringing you all the latest developments of Twitter and today is no exception. It seems that Twitter is amending its direct messaging system and the changes mean that some users will now be able to receive Direct Messages from people they are not actually following themselves.

The new development only applies to Verified Accounts and it’s quite a move and will no doubt be welcomed and loathed in equal measure. Fans and enthusiasts will love the idea of being able to direct message celebrities or their favorite brands but those very same celebrities and brands may not welcome the intrusion of floods of direct messages to their inboxes that will no doubt follow. However it seems that Twitter has already prepared for that and will allow an opt-out system to disable the feature.

The change was brought to our attention by The Next Web who told how a Twitter user, Nabeel Ziyaan, noticed the change and tweeted about it. The claim was reinforced by Tata DOCOMO, an Indian mobile operator who spread the word by tweeting about it from its official account saying, “Now to DM us all you need to do is follow @tatadocomo. No need for us to follow you first. Tested and its working.” It will avoid those circumstances where to receive a Direct Message a user with a large following has to then follow that user, wait for the message to be received and then unfollow again. As you can imagine if those users don’t unfollow, their accounts would be so huge they would become impossible to use.

For example yesterday we told how U.S. Vice President Joe Biden had used the VP’s new Twitter account, @VP, for the first time, tweeting happy 4th of July on Independence Day. At present that account has over almost 9,000 followers but Biden and his office are not actually following anybody yet so would be unable to receive any Direct Messages wishing him happy 4th of July in return. However, this could all change with the new system. It’s not yet known when all verified users will receive this new function but it is rolling out now and as mentioned before it will be possible to disable this service.

You may also be interested in our recent article where we looked at how people follow brands using social media. What are your thoughts on this new direct messaging system for verified accounts? Let us know with your comments.