Twitter DM Update: Join The Dark Side

Private messaging has been on the rise for a while. With the continuous growth and success of apps like Snapchat or WhatsApp (that recently added end-to-end encryption), it’s no surprise others have been trying to play catch-up. One of the platforms that is trying to improve its private messaging options is Twitter that has just released a new ‘message’ button for direct messages (DM). This magical button lets people share a Tweet via a DM and start a private conversation.This is a step up from changes Twitter made last year when it got rid of the character limit in DMs.

Twitter’s statement on the change is pretty straight-forward:

“Every day, millions of people send DMs to communicate privately with friends, family, experts, brands, and anyone else they find interesting on Twitter. With all this interest, we’ve also heard from many of you that it could be easier to share a Tweet using DMs. So now — in just a few taps — you can share unique Twitter content from your timeline right into your private conversation.”

Well, that’s nice and fluffy but what does it mean for your brand? Several things:

Customer Service

This feature might your life easier when running a Command Center or just simply responding to your customers’s tweet – you pick their tweets and seamlessly transfer a public conversation to a private one without losing context.

For tips on how to run Customer Service via social, check out our post here.

Embrace The Dark Social

Dark Social refers to any web traffic that’s not attributed to a known source, such as a social network or a Google search. It’s the lovely ‘unkown’ label in your Google Analytics that drives you crazy. Simply said, whenever people copy a link and send it to their friends via email or a private messaging app, they are going to the dark side. Making it easier for people to share stuff privately will encourage them to do exactly that: take conversations they might have in the public sphere back to the privacy of their inboxes making it harder for us, data driven people,see what people say where and what they do after. Of course there are ways how to track link clicks but when it comes to conversations volume and sentiment, we might have to embrace the dark side. This might also increase the importance of personal conversations between brands and customers, creating stronger relationships and thus more dedicated community management time.

This is definitely not the last ‘tweak’ to DMs we will see from Twitter this year. If you want to gen an insight into other Twitter changes that might come up in 2016, check out our blog on that very topic here.

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