Have you ever wanted to send someone a message on Twitter but you didn’t want it to be seen publicly? Maybe you’re letting a family member know when you’ll be on vacation or maybe sending a friend details about a party. Let’s face it, sometimes you don’t want to share everything publicly. Twitter has a feature called direct messages or DMs that let you post a 140 character message to a particular person on Twitter privately. These messages won’t show up on your timeline. They will only be seen by the recipient and the sender in their direct message inbox.
Amongst the many updates, changes, announcements and feature releases, Twitter went through a quick phase where they allowed users to direct message anybody. This turned into quite a controversy. Some people loved it … mainly marketers … but most people hated it.
They started out by cracking down on spam messages being sent, because marketers were flooding direct messages with links to all kinds of spammy websites. Unfortunately, Twitters filtering software worked so well that people who were sending legitimate links were getting in trouble, too. For example, If you sent a message that read, “ Hi Mark, check out my friend’s website http://www.myfriendswebsite.com,” Twitter would consider this a spam link and wouldn’t send your information.
But then the outrage became too much and they went back to the way it was. If you follow someone and the reciprocate by following you back, then you’re allowed the privilege of sending them a direct message.
Below is a step by step guide on how to direct message on Twitter via the web. In a future guide, I’ll be showing you how to direct message via Twitter’s mobile app and through SMS.