Twitter Updates Direct Message Platform

If you’re an active Twitter user, you’re probably familiar with the Direct Message (DM) feature. The Twitter logoidea with DMs is that you can use Twitter as a messaging app instead of posting publicly. Twitter’s announcement today makes clear that Twitter DMs are going to be even more like a messaging app. The changes include:

  • Read receipts (I find these incredibly annoying and an overreach)
  • A live typing indicator (so you can see in real time that someone is replying)
  • Native URL previews (so that you can know what link you are clicking on)

The changes should be live on your Twitter account soon.

Back in the day, only users that you follow could send you a DM, which made/makes sense to us. A couple of years ago (we think), Twitter changed it so that any users could send you a DM if you chose that setting, which can be found under Settings -> Security and privacy. This is a good time to remind parents that young users should not choose that option. It’s an open invitation for creepers. See below (it is turned on for @ThirdParent – send us a DM!).

Twitter DM settings

Twitter makes sense as a messaging app, but only for people who use Twitter and have common interests. That’s not a bad thing, or too narrow a use case for Twitter to make this change, so we have no major complaints with this update. For most teens, however, and especially those whose Twitter accounts are public, the safest choice is to only receive DMs from follows, and be selective about who those follows are.



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