The word is out that Twitter is introducing a brand-new direct message (DM) option that allows users to get DMs from any of their followers. This is in stark contrast to conventional direct messaging where users have to follow each other to communicate via DM. It’s important to note that Twitter users must opt-in to use this feature, but once they do, they can have unlimited access to brands and connect with them with ease. Mashable.com reported on how this new messaging option comes as good news for both consumers and companies trying to communicate on the social media platform.
With the extreme popularity of direct messaging on social media networks, Twitter can’t afford to ignore this social trend. One of the biggest brand benefits of this new DM feature is expected to be its effect on customer service. In addition to helping popular brands manage the many requests and inquiries they receive on Twitter each day, it should also help them protect their brand image. Today, many consumers turn to Twitter to voice their opinions about brands. While most share the compliments, some air complaints that can do damage to a brand’s image.
Yet with this new DM feature, disgruntled Twitter users can send private DMs to brands rather than voice their complaints publicly. Then, the company can move the complaint offline as quickly as possible in order to deal with the problem privately. This will help brands maintain their positive image, while reassuring consumers that their complaints are being directly received by the companies.
It’s easy to see how Twitter’s new DM feature can improve the scope of customer service. The power of Twitter is that it allows brands to respond to users’ specific questions in a public way. This turns their responses into free publicity, while leading to the creation of hashtags and discussion threads that can help other users.
But when privacy is a priority, this new DM feature can be incredibly useful. It can allow brands to communicate privately with select consumers, such as when sending exclusive offers to loyal customers or announcing local promotions to nearby shoppers.
While there are many benefits, there is quiet speculation that this new DM feature could make Twitter resemble email and lead to occasional spam. Twitter is well aware of this concern, which is why the company insisted on making DM an opt-in feature and giving users the choice to receive DMs from anyone or maintain their private messaging status. Users who opt-in for the feature may receive some spam, so they must be careful when opening DMs from unfamiliar sources.
While Twitter is known as a social media forum for universal conversation, this new DM feature can help the platform expand into the realm of private dialogue. According to VentureBeat.com, this can give Twitter users the best of both worlds and let them experience a sense of a community within a global platform.
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