Twitter has plans to bring its direct messaging feature to the forefront of its service. According to AllThingsD, the soon to go public company is testing a new app that separates direct messaging from its public timeline, @replys and profiles. It sounds a lot like Facebook Messenger launched in August 2011.
The report notes that Twitter executives once mulled phasing out Twitter direct messages completely. But as messaging apps like WhatApp, Kik, SnapChat, BBM, Line, and others reach record numbers of users, Twitter is seeing an opportunity to provide a new service to its user base.
It wasn't detailed how the messaging app will work. It's not clear if Twitter's app will be seamless messaging like Facebook Messenger where you can see recipients typing and reading your messages, or like the current state of direct messages where it's reminiscent of email. AllThingsD says to expect the new app by the end of the year.
You may be thinking it's a little odd for Twitter to break away from its core product, but the social media network has launched a standalone app in the past. Talk of Twitter Music for iOS has petered out since its launch in April, but the app took the music aspect sharing of Twitter into a separate arena.
In the past, Twitter has let you and the people you follow send direct messages back and forth, or for users to send direct messages to accounts that follow them. Twitter's new plans for direct messages look to have begun last week, when the company launched a new feature that lets you receive direct messages from any follower. It began to roll out to users globally last week.
In an IPO world, is Twitter looking to keep more types of communication within its service? It would appear that way.