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Twitter now lets you opt-in to receive Direct Messages from anyone, even if you aren’t follow them

Twitter now lets you opt-in to receive Direct Messages from anyone, even if you aren’t follow them

by AshwinApril 21, 2015

Twitter is rolling out a new feature, and it may not be welcome by many.


The microblogging website, now has an option which will let anyone send you a direct message, even if you are not following them.

But don’t worry, this feature is not enabled by default. You will have to manually opt-in to allow other users to send you Direct Messages, as SlashGear observed.

This is what the official announcement reads:

A setting that allows you to receive Direct Messages from anyone, even if you don’t follow them. To change your settings follow these instructions.

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.

If all this confuses you, let me give you a refresher on how things used to be. Prior to this feature’s roll-out, A Twitter user could only send a Direct message to another user, if both users were following each other.

For e.g:

(How it used to be)

A, B and C are Twitter users. A and B follow each other. A also follows C, but B doesn’t.
So the only people in this scenario who can send direct messages to each other are A and B. But C can send Direct Messages to A, but A cannot reply back.

How it works now:

If C opts in to receive messages from any user, he/she can receive messages from A or B.

How to enable “Direct Messages from anyone” ?

  • Login to your Twitter account, and visit the Security and privacy settings page.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and you will see an option which reads “Direct Messages – Receive Direct Messages from anyone”.
  • Click on the check-box to enable it, and then on save changes.

To Disable “Direct Messages from anyone”, just uncheck the option mentioned above.

So, this sounds like a good feature, what is the big deal about it not being welcomed by users?

Yes, while it does give an opportunity for more conversations, it also has room for spam and scam messages, and also has rises the risk of users being bullied or harassed by others.Additionally, enabling the new option also allows Protected Twitter accounts to receive direct messages from any user.

But there is some good news, you can easily prevent a user from sending messages to you, by blocking the specific user account. Twitter also has a limit of 1,000 Direct Messages sent per day, so spammers could still be restricted to a certain extent.

Additionally, some special accounts including those belonging to businesses,have such a setting which enables them to receive Direct Messages from anyone. I think you may have noticed it if you ever used Twitter for complaining to your Internet or Telecom Service Provider, and were asked to send them a message with your contact information.