It’s frustrating when you want to send someone a direct message on Twitter, only to find out that they don’t follow you. It often means that you can’t communicate in private on the Twittersphere… until now.

Twitter announced today that from now on, you will be able to send direct messages to people or companies who don’t follow you, but only if they opt in to receive direct messages from people that they don’t follow.

Changes to Twitter’s direct messaging 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’re rolling out these changes starting today to all users around the world. And we have lots more in the works to improve Direct Messages on Twitter, so that the private side of Twitter is just as fulfilling as the public side,” Twitter said in a statement.

But if you receive messages from someone on Twitter that you don’t know or want, you don’t need to worry as there are a number of steps that you can take to make sure that you don’t get harassed online.

For more information around online safety, and exactly how the new changes will work, click here.

[Image – CC by 2.0/kopp0041]

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.