On occasion, you need to communicate with someone on Twitter and you don't want everyone to see it. That's fair - maybe you're complaining about an embarrassing product that you bought. Maybe you're a Congressman and you want to send a nice picture of your package. Whatever, I won't judge.
That's where the direct message comes in - Twitter's more private communication. It's always been a little bit clunky, in that Twitter only lets people send direct messages back and forth if the two accounts follow each other. Users can also send direct messages to any other user that follows them, but they won't be able to receive a reply unless they turn around and follow back.
That's all changing - if you want it to.
Twitter has unveiled a new option that allows you receive direct messages from anyone that follows you - you don't have to follow them back.
Here's the relevant option, now located in your settings:
Note that you have to go into your settings and enable this - so if you like things just the way they are, please ignore this and continue on with your day. It's a small change, but it fundamentally changes how DMs work. Now, if a business or brand has this option checked, all you have to do to send them a complaint, comment, or question is follow them. The days of the "follow back to DM!" tweet may be coming to a close.