Twitter has updated its mobile apps today to better support the company’s direct messaging service with a new setting that allows users to receive private messages through Twitter from anyone on the social network.
In the past, DMs required users to follow one another in order to send and receive DMs. Now, users can decide whether or not they want to receive private messages from people who they don’t follow. It’s an opt-in system, so people won’t get spammed with messages unless they want to enable them.
To promote additional use of direct messaging, users’ profiles now include a button that lets users immediately compose a direct message to that person, assuming they’re allowed to send a DM. It’s something the company has been experimenting with on the desktop, but today’s launch makes it official.
It’s a move by the company to improve its messaging chops, at a time when Twitter really needs to prove the utility of its platform to new users. Expanding the utility of DMs could help draw in users who aren’t as interested with sharing their every thought or conversation with the world.
In addition, the update could allow people to interact directly with high-profile users on the platform, whether those are brand accounts or celebrities.
Today’s updates come after Twitter unveiled a new homepage experience for logged-out users. That experience is designed to make the platform more useful for people who don’t have a Twitter account but still want to get access to the content available on the social network.