Twitter is reportedly considering expanding its private messaging offerings.
Earlier this week, the company started rolling out a new feature that lets users receive direct messages from users they don't follow. Historically, the feature has only worked when a user is following the other user. There's a new setting option that allows you to receive messages from any follower.
A new report from All Things D, citing multiple sources, indicates that this is just the beginning of Twitter's private messaging focus, as it nears its IPO with competing threats from apps like SnapChat, KakaoTalk, WhatsApp and Line.
While apparently the company hasn't set anything in stone, its efforts may include a standalone messaging app, not unlike Facebook's messenger app. Given that Twitter still views Facebook as a direct threat, and Facebook is actively adding more "public conversation" functionality (even letting teens post publicly now), Twitter's move to counter these things by offering more private options is probably for the best.
Twitter has obviously always been a public platform first and foremost, though it's also always had privacy controls, but it looks like we're going to be seeing more of a "be everything to everyone" approach moving forward.
It makes you wonder how long the 140 character limit will stick around.
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