Try to keep it together as one of the core features of Twitter gets a fundamental (and arguably detrimental) change.

Twitter has begun rolling out a new feature that lets you accept private direct messages (DMs) from any of your followers. Previously, the feature was only available to followers that you followed back.

The new feature is rolling out to Twitter users today. You can turn it on simply by checking off a box in your Twitter settings, which bears the note, “If you check this option, any Twitter user that follows you will be able to send you a DM, regardless of whether you decide to follow them back.”

I’m already seeing the feature on my Twitter account, but you can rest assured I will probably never enable it. While I adore Twitter as a platform for widespread conversation, its DMs have always been a sacred messaging option. It’s more like texting than e-mail, since DMs typically send push notifications to your phone, and since I only follow select users, I never have to worry about unwanted spam.

So why is Twitter doing this? It’s likely an effort to make the service friendlier to advertisers and brands. Sending DMs to these companies would be a good way for users to communicate with brands without making their messages public. So far, Twitter users have just sent @replies to brand’s Twitter accounts to send praise and criticism, which are publicly viewable.

While I find the feature distasteful, I’m interested in how other Twitter users view it. Let us know in the comments!

Via The Verge