X has rolled out a new functionality for DM interaction, with the ability to now swipe right on any DM in a chain to directly reply to it.
on iOS & Android, you can now swipe to reply when you slide into their DMs pic.twitter.com/evuWpMfBxQ— X (@X) August 31, 2023
As you can see in this example, the new reply process makes it a little easier to respond to any message in a chat. X also added the capacity to reply direct to a specific message within a DM thread back in May, and this new swipe-to-reply UI will enhance that capacity even more.
You can also still add a general reply by typing a response into the text bubble at the bottom of the display, so you don’t have to respond to a specific message by swiping on it. But it’s another option to help improve the process, which could be handy for streamlining your chats.
So, cool, right? It’s another element to X DMs, which were also recently made to only accept non-follower messages from verified users as the default, while verified users can also now send encrypted DMs too, but not non-paying users.
In this sense, it’s somewhat surprising that X is even allowing non-payers to use this new swipe-to-reply functionality, but given that the vast majority of X users haven’t signed up for X Premium (formerly “Twitter Blue”), it probably wouldn’t be seeing much use at all if it were restricted.
But overall, X is seemingly looking to make DMs a bigger focus, with group chats another element that Elon and Co. want to emphasize moving forward, as they lean into broader social media engagement trends, and build on X’s private communities.
X is also looking to roll out audio and video calls soon, as an expansion of its messaging tools, but there’s no word as yet on whether that too will be an X Premium exclusive.
Musk posted this week that X’s video and audio calling tools will be available on Android, iOS, and web, with no phone number needed, with X acting, Musk says, as “the effective global address book”.
Not sure how that applies exactly, given that X has only a fraction of the audience reach that Facebook or WhatsApp has, but Musk seemingly believes that X can act as a better contact platform for direct calls, due to the amount of people you can connect with in the app.
X video and audio calls won’t, however, be encrypted, at least not at first.
X has actually been trying to push DM interaction for some time, even before Musk purchased the platform, with previous management also looking to emphasize DMs as a key customer service option, which never really caught on in a big way.
But the addition of audio and video calls could change this significantly, while X is clearly looking to build on the current messaging tools to maximize utility.
Which could make it a bigger factor moving forward. And in that context, maybe smaller tweaks like being able to swipe to reply will actually end up being more valuable than you might expect.
Either way, X DMs are evolving, and it’s worth keeping tabs on what impacts that has on broader usage.