Twitter has added a new button to tweets, for the first time in years.
The familiar retweet and like buttons will now be joined by a small message icon, allowing anyone to send a tweet in a direct message.
The tool is meant to allow people to talk about tweets privately, while staying within Twitter. The site has long offered the option to link to posts and have them show up within DMs, but the new feature makes it easier to do so and to discover the tool.
Twitter says that the number of tweets shared privately grew by 200 per cent in the past year, even before the new feature was added. Private messages have grown by 20 per cent in 2015, it said.
Twitter has been rolling out a range of new features to DMs, in an attempt to take on bigger messaging services like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Those have included the introduction of a GIF button, the removal of any character limit within the messages, and the addition of DMs that can be sent to a group.
The new feature is already rolling out to the Twitter app on iOS and Android.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies