Earlier today The Next Web reported that larger brands with Verified accounts no longer have to follow users back to receive Direct Messages from their customers.
"The relaxation is aimed at providing Twitter users that have large follower counts with a private system with which they can receive a personal message without having to go through the tedious process of following the user, asking them to direct message them, and then unfollow the user after it has been sent."
A Purpose For DMs?
This could be Twitter finally finding a true use for the Direct Message function which has been widely spammed over the years, or ignored. Twitter is increasingly becoming the easiest way to connect with a brand, and DMs offer a private way to communicate directly with them. We only have to remember the American Airlines debaucle last year, where people were getting their flights rebooked from Twitter, and also broadcasting a lot of public information in the process.
The folks @zendesk offer a unique way for non verified accounts to communicate more privately with their customers by turning any @reply into a "twicket." A user can then create a zendesk account and the communication can be private and in more than 140 characters.
The Next Web brings up a good point: "Fans of brands or celebrities will welcome the news but we aren't so sure the celebrities or staff running these popular accounts will be happy to receive an incoming flood of personal messages."
How do I get my account verified?
According to Twitter's site, this program is currently closed to the public. "This means we are not able to accept public requests for verification." -Header Image Source: http://preppydude.posterous.com/twitter-verified-account-really-