by Lily Bradic
Twitter users can now share and discuss tweets via direct message. The new feature, announced last week, is already live for browser and Tweetdeck users, and will be rolled out to iOS and Android users as soon as they update their apps.
This tweet-sharing feature is nothing groundbreaking, and you might not need to use it very frequently — but it’s nice to have the option. If someone tweeted a link to an article that you wanted a friend to see, you would probably send them a link to the article directly, rather than a link to the tweet. There aren’t many occasions when a tweet itself is worth sharing privately with somebody else — unless you intend to gossip about it (“OMG, did you see what your ex/boss/new guy at the office just tweeted?”) which is probably not very nice, but hey, it happens.
And of course, it has the potential to go wrong. Experienced tweeters will be fine providing they’re paying attention — but if you’re new to the platform, you might want to read through our Twitter guides just to familiarise yourself with what a “sending a DM” and “sending a tweet” screens look like (and how to use them). But then again, if Twitter’s own CFO Anthony Noto can get private messages and public tweets confused, what hope do WE have of getting it right?
"I still think we should buy them. He is on your schedule for Dec 15 or 16—we will need to sell him. I have a plan," Noto tweeted on Monday. The message was quickly deleted, but not before several people had grabbed screenshots. Nobody is quite sure which company he was talking about, but for whoever it is, Christmas is coming early this year.
Noto’s fail was the result of sending a public tweet instead of a DM – which is actually pretty difficult to do, but we won’t judge. Privately sharing a public tweet and attaching a message sounds like it would be easier to get wrong. Not for the person sharing it — but for the recipient. You think you're replying to the person who DM'd you the tweet, but instead you're replying to the tweet. Yeah. Just be careful.
A shared tweet looks like this, by the way:
Readers: what do you think of the new feature? Have you accidentally sent a private message publically (or vice versa)? Let us know in the comments!