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December 13, 2013

Twitter Finally Makes its Direct Messaging Service Worthwhile

Twitter is more popular among teens (aka the future), than Facebook, but there are certain aspects wherein Facebook has clearly been more clever. One of those is in the area of direct messaging. Facebook chat is a go-to forum for one-on-one and group convos. Yet Twitter, which excels in making one-on-one conversations public (these are more like shout-outs than actual discussions), has failed in the field of direct messaging.

Looks like the social media leviathan is investigating that problem. The company just announced an update to its apps that features a major redesign that includes a swipe-able design and a substantial Direct Messaging makeover. The service is more user-friendly just in terms of visibility and touts a special new privilege: Tweeters can now send photos via direct message.

This new picture-sharing perk is fairly revolutionary for Twitter. It represents a competitive move against Snapchat, though on Twitter, the pictures do not expire, so they can have a long-term endurance like that of photo sharing on Facebook. Twitter is also demonstrating that it wants in on the private messaging trend that is slowly but surely building momentum, particularly in parts of Asia.

But ulterior motives aside, this enhancement of options should come as a breath of fresh air to Twitter users. Direct Messaging is one of the site's oldest functions, and it's been showing its age. But now, not only can users send images via Direct Message, they can actually see that they have a message waiting for them and perhaps even be enticed to send one out themselves.

The updated app is compatible with iOS, Android, TweetDeck for Web, Chrome, and PC. Soon it will be coming the way of Mac.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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