Twitter Tweaks Messaging Service To Compete With Facebook

Still experimenting with its messaging model, Twitter is making it easier for users to receive direct messages. Brands and individual users can now opt in to receive DMs from anyone, regardless of who follows whom.

“Previously, if you wanted to send a Direct Message to the ice cream shop down the street … you’d have to ask them to follow you first,” Nhu Vuong, a senior software engineer at Twitter, explains in a new blog post. Now, “The ice cream shop can opt to receive Direct Messages from anyone … so you can privately send your appreciation for the salted caramel without any barriers.”

Twitter previously tried out the same feature, before retracting quickly it. While early adopters were permitted to retain the feature, the back-and-forth appeared to be driven by a concern over user privacy.

Twitter is trying to position itself as a messaging service on par with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Among other related efforts, the social giant recently made it possible for users to privately share tweets using Direct Messages.

As demonstrated by its decision to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion, Facebook thinks messaging is a big deal. Last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that messaging had become “one of the few things that people actually do more than social networking.”

More recently, Facebook officially turned Messenger into a platform for developers to directly distribute their apps to the service’s roughly 600 million users.

Separately, Google recently released a standalone Messenger app for Android. Messenger, so called, can be used for SMS and MMS phone functions, as well as for sending and receiving audio messages.

1 comment about "Twitter Tweaks Messaging Service To Compete With Facebook".
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  1. meghan gifford from asu, April 22, 2015 at 12:24 a.m.

    I think this is a really good example on how competitive social media sites can be. For Twitter to be tweaking their site as much as they are to compete with Facebook is a sign that all of these social media sites are still in the running to be number one. Direct messaging is a big thing in all social media sites; people like to have private conversations that do not need to be seen by everyone. Not to mention, that on Twitter there is a specific character count for each post you write. I think this is a very good marketing plan for Twitter because people will want to join a site that allows them to talk to people directly and privately.

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