By Edward Cardenas

SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – Twitter has expanded its direct messaging function to allow users to receive messages from those who do not follow them.

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The function allows users to take public Twitter conversations private, and previously was only available for people follow each other.

With the new update, Twitter users can select a setting that will allow them to receive Direct Messages from anyone, even if if they don’t follow them.

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According to a blog post, users can follow the steps to receive messages from a larger audience:

  • Check the box next to “Receive Direct Messages” from anyone in the Security and privacy settings on twitter.com. Users can also adjust this setting via the Twitter for iOS or Twitter for Android apps.
  • By enabling this option, any user can add users to group conversations.
  • To change settings using Twitter foriOS:
    • From the Me tab, tap the gear icon.
    • Select Settings from the menu that pops up, and tap the account @username to adjust.
    • Under Privacy, tap Receive Direct Messages from anyone to allow anyone to send Messages.
  • To change your settings using Twitter for Android:
    • In the top menu, tap on the overflow icon.
    • Select Settings and tap the account @username to adjust.
    • Under Other, tap Receive Direct Messages from anyone to allow anyone to send Messages.

“We hope these changes help you connect more easily – and directly – on Twitter with the people, causes and businesses you care about most,” Nhu Vuong, Twitter senior software engineer, wrote in a blog post. “If you do receive a Direct Message from someone you don’t want to privately converse with, you can still take steps to stop them.”

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This is the latest upgrade for Twitter this year. In January, Twitter added a feature that allows users to record and share video filmed from the Twitter app on smart phones along. The company also added the ability to utilize the micro-blogging service for private, group messages similar to group texts on smart phones.