An update to Twitter’s settings means that users now have the option to receive messages from anyone who follows them, regardless of whether the following is mutual.
It’s currently an optional service, with the default setting being the current Twitter set-up: you can only receive direct-messages from people you follow.
The changes were first spotted by Twitter user @JimConnolly, with the new setting reading: “If you check this option, any Twitter user that follows you will be able to send you a DM, regardless of whether you decide to follow them back.”
Writing for The Verge, Tom Warren has speculated that the new option is to allow brands and companies to receive private messages from customers; allowing the first point of contact to be a private DM rather than a public @ message.
Twitter filed for an IPO earlier this month with partnerships with brands forming a large part of their projected revenue. Incorporating extra enterprise-level functionality into Twitter will be an essential part of this side of the business, although some of this is already handled by third-party plug-ins.