Here's What's In The Twitter Direct Message Update

by Georgina Lawton

Twitter has steadily improved functionality for its users in recent years, and as of today, ardent tweeters will have noticed a few very big changes to the Direct Message section of the app. But what's in the Twitter Direct Message update, exactly? Well, it's good news for anyone who loves to keep track of who has actually read their messages (all of us), but bad news for those of us who dread letting people know if we've read their messages (also everyone, I bet). Effectively, Twitter has just turned their Direct Message system into a chat app similar to that of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Twitter announced the new features in a short video posted to their own Twitter account on Thursday. The video shows all of the new features in action — and although there are only three of them, they're still quite notable: They include read receipts, the typing indicator, and web link previews. In a statement provided to Bustle, Twitter noted that the DM update will be rolling out to all users over the next few days; you'll need the most recent version of the app to access them, though, so make sure you've got Twitter updated on your phone if you want to use them.

If you'd rather opt out, the good news is that there is a way to escape the digitally-awkward situations that could befall us all with one of the new functions. Mashable reports that read receipts are enabled on default, but users are able to switch it off by going to "Settings," then "Send/Receive read receipts." (So to paraphrase a wise musical genius: It doesn't have to go down in the DM). Whether or not that's the case for the typing indicator remains to be seen.

But even if it looks like the days of stealth messaging on Twitter are ov-ah, the features will likely prove useful for many. Here's what we can expect from our Twitter DMs now when the update rolls out:

1. Web Link Previews

If you're sending a link on Twitter, you'll be able to see the link preview photos and texts too. According to a statement provided to Bustle, media rich web link previews will be available both on mobile apps and on the web.

2. Read Receipts

On WhatsApp, when your message has been read by the other person, we're notified with two ticks turning blue. Twitter has adopted the same feature, but with one tick. Read receipts will be available on both the Android and iOS versions of the mobile app.

3. The Typing Indicator

These are similar to the three dots that are visible on WhatsApp when someone is typing. Like the read receipts, the typing indicator will be available on Android and iOS.

Images: Twitter/Twitter (3)