Twitter allows direct messages from anyone without need for following

Twitter on a smartphone

Twitter says it's allowing anyone to send or receive direct messages.

Previously, direct messaging could only happen between two Twitter users who followed each other.

Users can now change the settings and opt to allow direct messages from any profile, including people or companies who don't follow them.

The user can then reply with a direct message to the sender, but people can still block other users if they start abusing them or sending spam.

Twitter announced the change in a blog post on its website.

The changes include:

  • A setting that allows you to receive direct messages from anyone, even if you don't follow them.
  • Updated messaging rules so you can reply to anyone who sends you a direct message, regardless of whether or not that person follows you.
  • A new direct message button on profile pages on Android and iPhone. You'll see it on the profiles of people you can send direct messages to.

"We hope these changes help you connect more easily, and directly, on Twitter with the people, causes and businesses you care about most," Twitter said.

At the end of 2014, Twitter had 288 million monthly active users, sending 500 million tweets per day, according to the San Francisco-based company.

It's competing against the likes of WhatsApp, which said in January that 30 billion messages were sent every day using the app.

It has 700m monthly active users and launched a desktop messaging option earlier this year.

Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, said its own Messenger service had hit 500 million users in November.

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