Killing Twitter: Who Killed the Direct Message?

Killing Twitter: Who Killed the Direct Message?

When Twitter was young the DM was a way to connect and converse with people you knew. In order for someone to contact you via DM you had to be following them. This was a mutual admiration follow that had to occur for someone to be able to send you a private message on Twitter. Recently Twitter announced they are going to (may have already) take the 140c limit off DMs. You might think this is good news, but it’s really probably at the request of the spammy advertisers trying to pump more *crap* into your DM stream.

In this massive market for online (social) advertising Twitter has still not solved the riddle. Anyone who has experimented with The Unhappy Reality of Twitter Ads knows the challenges. The problem is you are putting your message into an OPT-IN network. If the person has not actively opted-in, your message is considered spam. The DM is worse. Since allowing non-mutual connections to hit our DM message, most people don’t even look at their messages.

Here’s the top four recent DMs in my stream.



Plenty of:

  • “Thanks for following me here’s my link to follow me on xx network.”
  • TrueTwit validations (Twitter should’ve killed this spambot years ago)
  • Please follow me here, or retweet me here.

That’s about the extent of the DM stream these days. I often don’t see DM messages for days, or ever, because they get buried in the onslaught of “thanks” and “truetwit” validations. Giving people access to DM me and now expanding their content to UNLIMITED? Twitter, please rethink this egregious error. You may just kill the DM for good.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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