Twitter to challenge WhatsApp with improved direct messaging

21 Jul 2014

Twitter is looking to take on the might of WhatsApp in terms of creating chats between users with a rollout of new direct messaging (DM) improvements.

The key aspect of the improvement is expected to involve giving users the ability to delete DMs consistently across all platforms, including mobile and desktop, as well as providing an accessible history of DMs on both Android and iOS, according to The Guardian.

Twitter’s DM service has been relatively ignored by the vast majority of users because of Twitter’s 140-character limit, and the fact only users who follow each other can send DMs amongst themselves.

The company revealed the update on its Twitter support account, linking to its official release that details how exactly the changes will be implemented.


It remains to be seen, however, whether this has the ability to challenge WhatsApp, which is consistently breaking messaging records with its 500m-plus users.

According to WhatsApp’s figures, its users are sending the equivalent of 64bn messages every day. The company is now also bolstered financially, with Facebook’s US$16bn takeover last February.

Speaking during the company’s earnings call last April, Twitter’s chief executive Dick Costello said they expect great things from DMs in the future.

“There’s a real opportunity for us, when we think about our private messaging, to strengthen the core of our Twitter product by making it easier for users to move more fluidly between the public conversation that happens everywhere on Twitter, and the private conversation between you and a friend or you and a few friends.”

Twitter is a Silicon Republic Featured Employer, comprised of top tech companies that are hiring now

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic