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Twitter now allows anyone to send you a direct message - here's what you need to know

Stay away, creeps.

SLIDING INTO PEOPLE’S DMs has just gotten infinitely easier, thanks to Twitter’s new changes to its direct message feature.

giphy (6) Source: gfisboom

In a blog post published yesterday, the online giant explained the changes it was implementing to the private messaging feature.

Previously, if you wanted to send a Direct Message to the ice cream shop down the street about how much you love their salted caramel flavor, you’d have to ask them to follow you first.

Now, as Twitter explains, you can just message the “ice cream shop” (read: the big ride you fancy) and you don’t need to send this dreaded tweet…

tweet

But wait, will you be able to receive DMs from anybody?

Not so fast.

It’s an opt-in service, meaning you have to change your privacy settings to enable people to message you.

dm

However, there are a few exceptions.

Ars Tehnica reports that if a person follows you and you don’t follow them, they will be able to contact you via DM once you instigate the conversation.

They will then be able to continue contacting you, regardless of whether or not you have opted in to the “receive direct messages from anyone” feature.

tumblr_n6lr11r91p1tsjzgfo1_400 Source: nwordbelike/Tumblr

Ars Technica also identified a bit of a flaw – if you have previously DMed a person you follow and you unfollow them for whatever reason, they will still be able to contact you by direct message, which potentially opens the floodgates for abuse or harassment.

Apparently, the only way around this is to delete your whole chat history with the person.

Elsewhere, the feature will make it easier for brands to engage with customer service queries in private rather than in public. But those who opt in to receive direct messages from anyone could find themselves spammed with DMs from brands.

giphy (7) Source: moviegifss/Tumblr

Tread carefully, everyone.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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