In a released update this week, Twitter has changed a rule in the social media's direct messaging feature by now allowing users to receive and send messages directly to anyone, including those that they don't follow.
Users can only send messages to people they follow by default and will have to go the Settings and Privacy menu to activate the feature. The function is available on the web and the Android and iOS apps..
In a blog post Twitter explained: "Previously, if you wanted to send a Direct Message to the ice cream shop down the street about how much you love their salted caramel flavor, you’d have to ask them to follow you first."
"With today’s changes, the ice cream shop can opt to receive Direct Messages from anyone; so you can privately send your appreciation for the salted caramel without any barriers."
While this new function can be a privacy concern for many, users can still decide to block another user if they wish not to receive messages from that individual.
In addition, Twitter explains in its direct message help center that deleting a conversation with someone you don’t follow, will no longer allow the user to send direct messages to you unless you have enabled the receive direct messages from anyone setting.