Twitter is changing an old policy that meant that you could only be DM’d by — that is, you could only receive a direct message from — users that you follow. (So if I follow John Doe, John Doe can DM me — but if John Doe follows me and I don’t return the favor, he can’t.) This has led to all sorts of confusion among Twitter users and endless plaints to “please follow me so I can DM you.”
That was the old policy. Now, Twitter will let users decide individually whether they want to receive DMs from any Twitter user.
On one hand, limiting incoming DMs to people you follow distinguishes your Twitter inbox from your email one — theoretically, every message should be from someone you consider interesting enough to follow. But particularly for journalists, it also means cutting off a lot of potential sources. A number of journalists this morning said they’d be switching to the new policy.