In an effort to combat spam and improve user experience, Twitter has unveiled a significant change to its messaging system. Starting from today, Twitter will implement a new setting aimed at reducing spam in users’ Direct Message (DM) inboxes. The update will involve redirecting messages from Verified users, whom the recipient does not follow, to the “Message Request” inbox instead of the main inbox. Going forward, only messages from users whom one follows will appear in the primary inbox. These changes will be applicable to all users who have opted to receive messages from anyone.
Until now, Twitter users could only receive DMs from others if they had explicitly chosen to accept messages from anyone in the platform’s Settings or if the senders were Verified users who had subscribed to Twitter’s paid service. Additionally, users could also receive DMs if they had previously initiated conversations with others.
The decision to shift messages from Verified users to the Message Request inbox, unless the recipient follows them, highlights a significant flaw in Twitter’s new verification system. Originally intended to identify public figures, celebrities, journalists, and notable individuals, verification lost its exclusivity when Twitter allowed anyone with a credit card to purchase the blue checkmark, thus diminishing its significance.
This latest update serves as an acknowledgment from Twitter that the platform has been grappling with a spam problem originating from Verified users flooding users’ main inboxes. By relocating these messages, Twitter implicitly admits to the presence of a Verified user spam issue.
Twitter emphasized that users who still wish to receive DMs from Verified users in their main inbox can manually switch back to that setting at any time after the changes take effect.
However, the implementation of these changes may pose challenges for journalists who often rely on contacting sources for additional information or seeking permission to use tweets. Journalists lost their verification badges under the leadership of Elon Musk and, even if they choose to pay for verification, their DMs will now be directed to the Message Requests folder, potentially resulting in unseen messages.
While some users have raised concerns about spam, both from Verified users and others, it should be noted that the recent update does not directly address the spam issue. Instead, it simply relocates those messages to a different folder.
Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter for a staggering $44 billion last year, previously emphasized his commitment to reducing spam and bots on the platform. However, a recent report by The Wall Street Journal revealed that fake and spam accounts continue to be persistent problems. The report also indicated that bot activity has remained largely unchanged since Musk’s takeover, according to one measure of bot activity.
Musk, on the other hand, claimed just last month that Twitter had successfully eliminated at least 90% of scams and spam on the platform.