Twitter beefs up Direct Messages with new features


Improving the Direct Messages function in Twitter, the social media company appears to hope to be able to compete with other instant messaging platforms, notably iMessage. Several new features are coming to the Twitter platform and their Direct Message function that will help Twitter keep pace with the market.

The two leading functions that Twitter is adding are read receipts for messages and a typing indicator. The read receipts function is being implemented as a blue check mark that will appear next to the timestamp for a message when it has been read. The indicator will only be visible when using the Twitter mobile app on iOS or Android, although reading a Direct Message via the Twitter web site will generate a read receipt. For users who do not want others to know when they have read a message, they can turn off the feature via the security settings in Twitter. The downside to this is that you also turn off the ability to see when others read your messages. For the typing indicator, Twitter is using three animated dots that will display to indicate that a user is typing a response.

In addition to these new features, Twitter is also bring the web link previews feature to the Direct Messages portion of their platform. Previews are already available in the main Twitter feed, but will now be available for private conversations being conducted via Direct Messages.

Some sources have suggested Twitter may be moving to splitting Direct Messages off into a separate app for instant communication purposes. This would be a move similar to what Facebook did with their Messenger app.

Does the addition of these features to Twitter make you more likely to use Direct Messages as your instant messaging client?

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a MINI Cooper, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three mostly grown kids and a golden retriever.