Twitter has enabled receiving direct messages from any follower, which is viewed as a move to improve the social network as a platform used by businesses in receiving messages.
If Facebook is for sharing of photos and connecting with friends, then Twitter is a platform mostly used for sending updates and tracking relevant conversations based on trending topics and interests. Businesses have started exploring the use of the social network as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, with which customer support staff actively engage users, responding to inquiries and sending out updates.
One limitation, however, is that until recently, users who wish to send direct messages to a Twitter account will require that both parties are following each other. This was intended to increase connections on Twitter (users following each other), and to ensure privacy of users. After all, no one wants to be spammed incessantly by people they don’t follow.
In its latest update, Twitter now enables users to accept direct messages from anyone who already follows their account.
Generally, you must follow someone before they have the ability to direct message you. If you check this option, any Twitter user that follows you will be able to send you a DM, regardless of whether you decide to follow them back.
This is considered a boon for businesses that engage their audience and customers through Twitter. With the new feature, users do not need to follow back everyone that wishes to send them direct messages. Twitter can be one’s point of access for receiving inquiries, complaints or other messages.
According to Tech Crunch writer Darrell Etherington, this feature will also be extremely useful for journalists and basically anyone who needs to receive private messages without necessarily following someone back. “This eliminates the age-old hassle of receiving @-replies that ask you to follow-back so that someone can DM you some information or a message of questionable value,” he writes. Etherington adds that sometimes, this follow-back requirement has become a “DM honey-pot” in that users with sometimes-questionable leads will use it as a means for media personnel to follow their accounts.
By default, the feature is turned off, and with good reason.
“Enabling this option could potentially mean open season on your Twitter inbox,” writes Etherington. But for users who intend to receive private messages for any purpose — like for product or service complaints or for story leads — this is a good option to enable.
Source: The Verge