Twitter is launching a group messaging feature as it looks to tap into the growth of group messaging on mobile devices and the rise of micro-network behaviour.
Currently, Twitter users can only send private messages to single recipients, and the DM (direct message) feature only allows users to message users that already follow them.
This is another feature likely to change in the coming months, with the introduction of open messaging expected to be rolled out so that if users choose, the can receive messages from anyone, not just followers.
Twitter has also recently changed the messaging function to allow users to send links within direct messages – something that was not opreviouly possible - as it looks to better enable private sharing on its platform.
Previously, links had not been allowed in DMs, partly because Twitter' s MO was that it was a public sharing platform.
Users can also repost and share tweets directly to other users in direct messages - meaning shares that previously had to be public, can now be made privately between users.
The subtle shift that these new messaging features allow shows that Twitter is seeing the value in offering more chances for users to have conversations privately. It also boosts the appeal of Twitter to publishers and content creators a it makes the platform a more viable sharing option.
For brands, it allows for conversations to be taken offline more quickly – ideally if a brand is using Twitter as a customer service channel and facing negative comments. Instead of a conversation playing out in public, brands can try to manage the backlash of negative tweets privately.
In a blog post, Twitter said: “Private conversations on Twitter are a great complement to the largely public experience on the platform. You might prefer to read (or watch) Tweets but converse about them privately. You might want to continue a public conversation privately with a smaller group, or start one based on a Tweet you saw.
“Many of you use Direct Messages to reach the people and brands you’re only connected to on Twitter. Whatever the case may be, the ability to converse privately with groups gives you more options for how and with whom you communicate on Twitter.”
Twitter is also launching its much speculated video product today, allowing users to capture, edit and post video directly fom the app.
Earlier this week it launched its first promotional video campaign for itself, featuring Australian celebrities endorsing Twitter and how much they use it.
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