- Twitter launched its open direct messaging feature Monday that allows users to send direct messages without having to be following each other—previously a prerequisite to private messaging.
- While the feature has its benefits, it also opens up DM to spam and abuse by brands. For example, spam activity used to be public, as users could tell from the spammer's page that they were contacting multiple people. DM, however, is private.
- Experts urge brands to utilize the open DM feature for customer service functions—not unsolicited contact.
Twitter at its core has always been a public forum, and many users will admit to rarely even using the DM. The new feature is opt-in, not default, which will likely keep spam to a minimum. Still, brands must exercise caution to avoid irritating followers with direct contact.