Twitter today continues to push forward with its increased emphasis on its messaging feature, with the rollout of a new button for websites that allows visitors to privately message an individual or company directly. The feature, now one of several website buttons available, follows the company’s recent test of a change to brands’ customer support profiles’ that encouraged users to direct message, not tweet, at the business’s Twitter account.
In that case, a new “Message” button appeared on the profile on mobile – taking over the full space where “Tweet to” and “Message” used to live side-by-side. Early testers included big names like Apple, Uber, Beats, Activision, and others.
Today’s update, meanwhile, is about making it easier to message a business from the web.
The company already offered buttons for following, sharing, mentioning, and hashtags, but not DM’s. So, to some extent, this is just about Twitter rounding out its product offerings to be more comprehensive.
However, the button’s arrival comes at a time when Facebook has been moving to make its chat app Messenger the default way that consumers interact with businesses.
The social network recently redesigned its business Pages, which puts a “Message” button at the top of the page, assuming the business in question uses chat. And earlier this year, it announced a suite of tools that made it easier for businesses to connect with customers on Messenger, including things like Messenger links and scannable Messenger codes for initiating chats, business usernames based on Page names, and Messenger greetings.
Twitter, meanwhile, has become known better as a place where consumers go to complain when things go wrong – often posting angry tweets, with the brand’s @username attached. By shipping more tools that let customers take that sentiment to a private chat, the hope is that businesses will continue to use Twitter as part of their marketing, consumer outreach, and support strategies, instead of shifting all their communications to Facebook.
Shortly after Twitter’s announcement of the new button this afternoon, a few early testers reported they were getting error messages when they tried to use it. Apparently, the new button isn’t quite ready just yet, but should be functional in the near future.