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Twitter Built a New Button So You'll Send More Private Messages

Reply. Retweet. Like. And now Send.

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Reply. Retweet. Like. And now Send.

Twitter is adding a new button to the bottom of each tweet so that it’s simpler to send that tweet to another user within a private message. The new icon, a small envelope right next to the heart-shaped Like button, automatically attaches the tweet to a private message which you can then address to another user.

This is a relatively small update. In fact, you could already send tweets to other people via direct message. It just required more steps.

But the fact that Twitter is putting a new button onto each tweet is a pretty good indication of how important direct messaging is to the company. Twitter was late to building out its messaging service and as a result has always lagged behind other messaging apps like Facebook’s Messenger or Snapchat.

But Twitter DMs are increasing in popularity — Twitter claims that 60 percent more messages were sent in 2015 than 2014. Adding a new button to encourage more private messages should bump that number even higher.

It should also make it easier for users to send tweets to brands or retailers, a customer service use case Twitter is starting to build features for. It’s one of the reasons the company removed the 140-character text limit for direct messages last summer; it’s hard to have a conversation with a customer service agent when you can’t send more then two sentences at a time. The customer service use case was also one of the reasons Twitter has considered spinning DMs into its own app. It ultimately decided against the idea.

The new icon should appear for users on Tuesday as part of a free app update for both iOS and Android.


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