If you didn't know already, Facebook has a vault of hidden messages. Before you freak out and text your friends about social media trying to control your life, there's more. Instagram and Twitter have a similar feature, which means there are maybe a few messages you missed. This secret inbox on Twitter may be a little hard to find if you aren't looking in the right place, and sometimes it's just helpful. If the person doesn't follow you, chances are you might not want to interact. This can do wonders for ignoring those creepy messages from not-so-potential suitors, ignoring people you haven't talked to in years with good reason, possible spam messaging, and people randomly asking you to sample their music.
On social media platforms like Twitter, it's a different way to approach privacy online. Instead of going through the process of blocking/reporting the people you don't want in your inbox, Twitter simply asks you to step aside and let them do it. Since your TL is already curated, in a way this is just Twitter curating your messages based on the people you like enough!
Twitter Support calls this the difference between a direct message or a request. If the person doesn't already follow you, their message will be seen as a request and can't be reviewed until it's accepted. This also applies to someone adding you to a group on Twitter where there might be a few who don't follow you.
Basically, if someone doesn't follow you, they can't automatically message you. But that doesn't mean you can't take a look around that secret inbox if you're a little curious!
1. Open The Twitter App & Click The Home Icon
This might seem like a no brainer, but when you open the app on your phone, click the little home icon and swipe right to open up the navigation menu on the side.
2. Find "Settings and Privacy"
Once the navigation menu pops up, choose "settings and privacy."
3. Select "Privacy and safety"
There will be a list of items. When you choose "privacy and safety" you will receive more options including read receipts, photo tagging and protecting your tweets.
4. Choose "Receive messages from anyone"
There will be a swipe option available! Once you see the gray bubble swipe right and turn green, you're in business — from then on, you'll be able to see your "requests" tab in your inbox. From there, according to Twitter's Help Center, you will either choose to accept or delete the message. And if you're wondering about the "Quality filter" option, Twitter automatically enables it if you choose to receive messages from anyone. "When enabled, the quality filter for message requests hides conversation requests we think may be lower quality," Twitter's Help Center explains. "Filtered requests will not be viewable in the Requests section of your inbox and you will not receive a notification about these requests." You can unselect the "Quality filter" if you want to have the option of viewing those "low quality" requests.
So if you don't want to see just who has been trying to slide into your DM box, that's fine. If you never "accept" their message request, you can skate by guilt free because they won't get a notification that you haven't read it yet. Isn't social media wonderful!