Posted by Frank - Follow me on Twitter

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I figured since the majority of people that are online are also on Twitter, I would dedicate a post to Twitter in regards to direct messages.  Doesn’t the word direct messages or DM make you cringe?  I know anyone who is an avid Twitter user or really enjoys interacting on the platform can’t stand spam!  Twitter has definitely seen an increase in spam from bots and people in general.  So I thought, why not make a post explaining 10 reasons why Twitter should remove direct messages from their platform.  If this post goes viral and a lot of people help spread the word about it, maybe we can end all the spam on Twitter and go back to have meaningful conversations.

1.  The first and most obvious reason why Twitter should do away with direct messages is they are flat out annoying!

2.  If the purpose of direct messages is to get in contact directly with someone, why not just send them an @reply? It’s the exact same thing and Twitter users always check their @replies not their DM’s.

3.  Direct messages especially the ones you receive for following someone are SPAM! Nobody needs a DM saying, “thanks for following me, I look forward to your tweets, now check out my website.”

4. DM inboxes become flooded.  Just think you wake up in the morning to 40 pointless DM’s asking you to buy something or promoting a website.  Nothing valuable to contribute to the conversation.  People just stop checking their DM’s for this very reason.

5.  Most people say they can’t keep up to respond to their DM’s because they receive so many.  So what do you do to fix this? Prevent people from sending you auto DM’s when you follow them by following these 4 steps by Social Oomph.

6.  Direct messages can become overbearing to a person and then it could be the reason why they stop following you.  There are many people who unfollow those that send DM’s!

7.  There’s no positive effects from direct messages.  With how viral Twitter has become and the success it has achieved, DM’s tamper with that success and if they are removed, you (Twitter) will make the whole community very happy!

8.  If you need to send someone a personal message that nobody else can see…that’s what email is for! Why would you email someone through Twitter with a DM?  It makes no sense to me or anyone else for that matter.

9.  There’s a saying…“Give the people what they want!” If the people at Twitter are wondering what their users would want to make their experiences better it would be to remove direct messages.

10.  My last point…Did you read points 1-9?  Those will lead you here to 10!  END DM’S NOW!

Do you feel the same way I do about direct messages on Twitter?  If not, I’d really like to hear why.  I’m sure though many of you want the DM aspect of Twitter to be eliminated just as much as I do!  Hopefully this post will spread throughout the internet and reach the people at Twitter. So, click the TWEET button at the top left corner to help get the message out there!

Further reading:

What’s A Large Following On Twitter Worth?

Top 10 Reasons To Follow Someone Who Follows You On Twitter

Is There Really A Problem With Sponsored Tweets?

How Is Twitter Being Used?

  • I don’t know about actually deleting DM, but you’re right about the usage issue. One other benefit of the @reply is that it’s not private; so others get to see the content (good or bad).

    • Exactly. Since the @reply is not private, others can comment on what you have to say as well. That’s yet another reason why I prefer that over using a DM. Thanks for mentioning that, I didn’t even realize the bonus of the @reply being public!

  • Justin

    Some companies and websites run promotions and awards through Twitter, and they use Direct Messaging to get in touch with someone without exposing their personal information to the world. I agree most people don’t use them, but they still have some use.

    • I think you are right when it comes to companies and websites wanted to get directly in contact with someone on Twitter. It’s definitely a positive for them, but the thing I wonder is are they actually looking to do something constructive or just pitch a product? I agree, DM’s are a better alternative if you are trying to prevent the sharing of personal information.

  • I think DM can come in handy. Sometimes you may need to send a message to a person and only what that person to read it.
    Yes..SPAM is a problem, as well as the flood of inbox.

    • The DM is good for getting in touch with one person and nobody else, but like I mentioned in the post…couldn’t you just email them instead? To each his own I guess!

  • Funnily enough, I just (I mean JUST, as in today) used the DM function to send a message to someone whose email addy I had written down wrong during a phone call – I would have felt weird @-ing her and a) telling everyone I was an idiot, and b) announcing to everyone what her email address WASN’T, but I do sympathise with people who have the problems enumerated above. I certainly wouldn’t cry if they were gone, but I don’t get enough DMs to be upset – heck, I get few enough personalised tweets of any type that I’m over the moon at every @. That’s @Seabuckthorn BTW. 😀

    • I agree with you and not making someone’s email address public. That’s something you definitely don’t want to do. However, that’s where DM’s do play a positive role. There are many Twitter users out there though who use a DM as an auto spam tool for new followers. Instead they should provide a thoughtful message instead of something custom sent to everyone.

  • While I don’t get very many DM’s I don’t send very many either, if I’m trying to communicate with someone to get a phone number or email address to continue a conversation off twitter, DM’s are something I do use, because it’s out of public view, especially if there is no other way of getting in touch with the person (if they have a website with contact information posted on their twitter profile you can try to contact them there).

    • I see where you are coming from Martin. I think DM’s serve a purpose when you need to send something private. Although, DM’s are fine when you know the person sending them to you because it’s legitimate. However, receiving spam DM’s seem to take over with people requesting you to click links. That’s my big reason for why I believe DM’s should be removed.

  • I disagree on all accounts.

    1. They are flat out annoying? That’s not a problem with DMs. You think they’re annoying, but you failed to tell us why

    2. I don’t want to send an @reply to someone all the time because it doesn’t always belong on the public timeline. if we’re going back and forth via @reply and i have a sidebar comment to you about the same topic, i want a DM. I’m not opening an email or an IM to send one line that is in line with what’s happening on twitter. just need a quick 140 character way to make it private. answer – DM

    3. I get NO spam from people following me wanting to send me links. Why? Because I don’t follow people that spread that kind of stuff around. If you follow me and want the spam the hell out of me via DM but I’m not following you, then what’s gonna happen? You can’t send me a DM, plain and simple. If there’s a mutual follow between respectable and reputable people, that won’t then spam won’t happen.

    4. See #3. If you are following people that spam you then the problem is with that person, the relationship or your need to follow EVERYONE that follows you. The code that drives DMs is not flawed, it’s the usage.

    5. We are not given a reason to delete DMs from the system here. We’re given a way to better utilize it which is what this entire article should be about but it professes to be about deleting DMs altogether. Pick a stance.

    6. Same as your #4. Reaching for reasons. Are you sure you believe in this topic? Flooding? Overbearing? How is this different? Repeating yourself with new wording is fluff but not new content.

    7. There are plenty of good effects from DMs. Real-time private messaging helps shape relationships and direct conversations before (or during) their view on the worldwide public timeline.

    8. You know what I’m about to say here. Email is not real time. It’s not the same kind of information dissemination scale as Twitter. And it requires another window or another application. The key to web design is to keep them on your site. Requiring email forces the opposite and is bad business

    9. This is backed by what statistic, poll, chart? I don’t know a single person (beside you) that wants DMs removed. So, back that up.

    10. Not a reason. More fluff so you could have your title.

    • I made this post before I restructured the people I was following. I used to follow anyone that followed me on Twitter because I liked receiving a lot of interesting news. However, in doing this, I started to receive a lot of spam in my DM’s. Basically they were spam links. You wouldn’t experience this yourself unless you auto-followed those who followed you. I didn’t take note of it at the time, but I wasn’t developing solid social media relationships. That’s when I decided to re-structure my followers list and follow those I felt provided value, developed relationships with, and not just someone trying to promote themselves. At this point now this post I feel different about in regards to my stance on the issues. I don’t have a problem with DM’s anymore and I should have mentioned at the time that I felt this way due to following anyone that followed me.

  • Bill34

    Dude shut the fuck up?!
    If you dont like DM’s on twitter and your gonna write a whole damn essay about it
    then get the fuck off twitter!
    It’s that easy!

    • Interesting. I wrote this post a long, long time ago and it still continues to be the one with the most traffic. However, at the time of writing this post, my rant on DM’s was geared more towards those that send spam and potential malicious links to users immediately upon someone following them.

  • I agree hate them. I am getting so many a day. I follow because I Iike what they tweet & auto DM really annoys me. It is spam, I don’t know anyone that likes receiving them.

    • It really is a bother to receive them for sure. I’m glad I actually don’t receive any DM’s anymore. I actually can’t remember the last time I received one. Thanks for sharing your insight, Kelly!

  • Denny Crane

    The facts are that you’ve not only changed your stance on DMs, but most of the information is erroneous opinion.

    Sure, you’re receiving lots of page hits, but they’re all negative – and only because the discussion has sufficient keywords to bring it up the line, when certain questions or inquiries are entered into the search engines. I simply wanted to know why some people “Do not read DMs,” and yours was one of the early links. But it’s unfortunately of no help.

    Given that, the proper course of action would be to remove this blog entry. Unless, of course, you simply want lots of page hits. In which case, its remaining existence says a LOT more about your MO than your tone lets on. And if that’s the case, shame on you.

    • I wrote this post years back as my initial reaction to how DM’s were being used and my displeasure toward the feature. When Twitter had first started, there were MANY users who were sending auto DM’s spamming links to people. This bothered many users including myself which at the time encouraged the post.

      In regards to your question why some people do not read DM’s, the answer is simple, actually. Most people tend to respond to people they know personally or have built a relationship with, most people still get spam DM’s to this day, and it’s a private messaging feature. There are going to be people who don’t appreciate being sent a DM without being asked permission first.

      I apologize if this post didn’t provide you the answer you were looking for, but I hope my response gave you some insight into your question from someone who’s been using Twitter since 2008.

      Yes, this is my most popular post and just because there’s controversy over it, taking it down wouldn’t be the right thing to do. At the time, those were my opinions, which everyone is entitled to have…including yourself. However, if I were to take this post down, it would be me closing the doors to people who have different opinions than me, like yourself. I personally like hearing what other people have to say, even if this is an old post. In general, I wouldn’t take any posts I’ve written down because its an archived history of the blog.

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, though.

  • LeoAutismWarriorMUM

    I agree. I want to take my dms off so e of my friends send me DMs as a formal of friendship then they start sending me unwanted messages. I don’t want unfollow them. But I don’t want the dms so what to do? Please.

    • It can be tough when dealing with DM’s. Personally, I’m more inclined to exchange a DM with someone that I know that we’ve developed context over a period of time, therefore personal communication is warranted rather than a public reply.