Twitter’s moving to the next stage of testing for its new DM restriction tools, which will give users more control over who exactly is able to message them in the app, in a bid to combat DM spam.
As you can see in this screenshot, shared by @swak_12 (via T(w)itter Daily News), Twitter’s currently working on a new DM options screen, which would enable users to choose who can send them a message in the app.
These controls, presumably, would only be made available to Twitter Blue subscribers, which would align with another element of the same experiment, in broader restrictions on who can send DMs to non-followers in the app.
As you can see in this screen, Twitter’s also looking to implement a new restriction that would stop non-paying users from sending messages to people who don’t follow them, which could have implications for customer service and outreach, if you’re not paying for a verified account.
Though ‘verified’ is a bit of a loose term in this context. Twitter’s current version of ‘verified’ essentially only means that a user is paying $8 per month, with no real verification or ID checking process built into the Twitter Blue onboarding process. Twitter says that ‘payment verification’ is a valid form of confirming ID, as only real humans will be able to pay $8 per month, but it’s not exactly verifying anything, as such, it merely confirms that an account is transferring money to Twitter each month, through whatever process.
But that’s obviously an aside – the real focus with this update is countering DM spam, by making it much more cost prohibitive for spammers to send out billions of DMs per day to random recipients, by restricting that capacity to only paying users.
And with subscribers also able to choose who can DM them, that could limit this even more, which could be an effective way to stop DM spammers pretty much entirely for those that have really had enough of their junk.
But it would also be a significant change to Twitter’s messaging process. And with more and more interactions migrating to DMs, as users move away from public posting, that could have a bigger effect than you might think, and could see more of these types of interactions shift to other apps, as opposed to helping Twitter improve its own messaging options.
I mean, Twitter would have less spam, no doubt, but it could also see legit messaging volume also decline significantly, which is another element that Twitter will have to watch.
We don’t know exactly how, nor even if this will function as yet, because Twitter hasn’t officially announced the project. But it does seem like, very soon, your Twitter DM options will change.