November 7, 2013

Twitter Eases Up On DMs

Twitter has had some serious problems over the past few weeks with their DM capabilities. In fact, I wrote about it when they initially disabled the ability to send URL links through DMs. On October 17th, I began following the story regarding Twitter followers discovering – much to their dismay – how they were unable to send URLs via DMs. Twitter made the decision to suspend URLs in DMs as a result of a major SPAM attack.

It was a developing story for several days, and Twitter’s Help Desk put out a statement, which read: “Were restructuring back-end elements of our direct message system. As a result, users may be unable to send some URLs in direct messages. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Last week, I was able to send URLs via DM, but some of my followers told me that they weren’t able to do so.

TechCrunch writer, Matthew Panzarino, followed that story closely, and last week provided another piece about Twitter’s “thawing” relationship with DMs. As Panzarino notes, “Twitter has been rejiggering its thinking about direct messaging [DM] recently, largely in the face of enormous platforms like WhatsApp, Line, Snapchat, and others.” His claim that their feelings are “thawing” is a result of the link to the DM now being on’s top bar. To a degree, the link used to be more buried on a user’s page. Interestingly, Twitter was thinking about getting rid of the system entirely, but have since reversed this plan. Apparently, the company has been working on a new version for several months, but hasn’t rolled it out for a number of reasons relating to decision-making strategies or lack thereof (which basically means there’s been a lot of disagreement).