Help Center

About Direct Messages

Direct Messages are the private side of Twitter. You can use Direct Messages to have private conversations with people about Tweets and other content.

The basics
To send a Direct Message from Twitter for iOS
To send a Direct Message from Twitter for Android
To send a Direct Message via the web
To mute Direct Message notifications
To report a Direct Message or conversation
To share a Tweet via Direct Message
To receive Direct Messages from anyone
To review Direct Message requests
To disable Direct Message read receipts
To send and receive Direct Messages on your phone via SMS
Some important things to know about Direct Messages

The basics

  • You can start a private conversation or create a group conversation with anyone who follows you.
  • Anyone you do not follow can send you a Direct Message if:
    • You have opted in to receive Direct Messages from anyone or;
    • You have previously sent that person a Direct Message.
  • Anyone in a conversation can send Direct Messages to the group. Everyone in a group can see all messages, even if everyone doesn’t follow each other.
  • In group conversations, anyone in the conversation can add other participants. Newly added participants won’t see the prior history of the conversation.
  • Some accounts, particularly businesses on Twitter, have enabled a setting to receive Direct Messages from anyone. You can send a Direct Message to these accounts even if they don’t follow you.
  • In both group and one-on-one conversations, you cannot be in a conversation with an account you block.

To send a Direct Message from Twitter for iOS

  1. Tap the envelope icon. You’ll be directed to your messages.
  2. Tap the message icon  to create a new message.
  3. In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of the people you wish to send a message to. A group message can include up to 50 people.
  4. Enter your message.
  5. In addition to text, you can include a photo, video, GIF, or send a sticker via Direct Message.
    • Tap the photo icon  to take a photo or record a video, or attach one from your device gallery. You have the option to edit your photo before sending your message. Tap on the photo to bring up editing screen where you can enhance, crop, add filters, and add stickers. When you are done editing, tap Save.
      Note: For more information on advanced photo options, read our Posting photos or GIFs on Twitter article.
    • To include an animated GIF in your message, tap the GIF icon  to search for and select a file from the media library.
    • To send a sticker, tap the sticker icon  before typing your message. Select and tap a sticker from a preselected set, and it will immediately send. 
  6. Tap Send.

 

To delete a Direct Message or conversation:

  • To delete a Direct Message, tap and hold the message and select Delete message from the menu that pops up.
  • To delete an entire conversation from your inbox, swipe left on the conversation and tap the trash can icon  You can also delete an entire conversation by tapping the information icon  and selecting Delete conversation from the Conversation info page.
  • When you delete a Direct Message or conversation (sent or received), it is deleted from your account only. Others in the conversation will still be able to see Direct Messages or conversations that you have deleted.


To manage a group conversation:

  • To quickly access the list of conversation participants, tap the profile photo of the group conversation from your inbox. 
  • From within a group conversation, tap on the information icon  to bring up a settings page.
  • Settings details:
    • Tap Edit to update the group conversation profile photo and name. To change the photo, tap the camera icon in the photo to Choose from library or Take new photo. Tap Save to update.
      Note: Once you update the photo, you’ll have the option to Remove current photo, View current photo, Choose from library, or Take new photo.
    • Tap Add members to add people to the conversation.
    • Drag the slider next to Mute conversation to mute notifications for 1 hour, 8 hours, 1 week, or Forever
    • To report the group conversation, tap Report conversation.
    • To remove yourself from the group conversation, tap Leave conversation

To send a Direct Message from Twitter for Android

  1. Tap the envelope icon. You’ll be directed to your messages.
  2. Tap the message icon  to create a new message.
  3. In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of the people you wish to send a message to. A group message can include up to 50 people.
  4. Enter your message.
  5. In addition to text, you can include a photo, video, GIF, or send a sticker via Direct Message.
    1. Tap the photo icon  to take a photo or record a video, or attach one from your device gallery. You have the option to edit your photo before sending your message. Tap on the photo to bring up editing screen where you can enhance, crop, add filters, and add stickers. When you are done editing, tap Save.
      Note: For more information on advanced photo options, read our Posting photos or GIFs on Twitter article.
    2. To include an animated GIF in your message, tap the GIF icon  to search for and select a file from the media library.
    3. To send a sticker, tap the sticker icon  before typing your message. Select and tap a sticker from a preselected set, and it will immediately send. 
  6. Tap Send.


To delete a Direct Message or conversation:

  • To delete a Direct Message, tap and hold the message and select Delete message from the menu that pops up.
  • To delete an entire conversation from your inbox, tap and hold the conversation and select Delete conversation. You can also delete an entire conversation by tapping the information icon  and selecting Delete conversation from the Conversation info page.
  • When you delete a Direct Message or conversation (sent or received), it is deleted from your account only. Others in the conversation will still be able to see Direct Messages or conversations that you have deleted.


To manage a group conversation:

  • To quickly access the option to leave, mute, or report the conversation, tap and hold the profile photo of the group conversation from your inbox. 
  • From within a group conversation, tap on the information icon  to bring up a settings page.
  • Settings details:
    • Tap Edit to update the group conversation profile photo and name. Tap the camera icon to bring up the following photo options: View photo, Camera, Photo Gallery, or Remove photo. Tap Save to update.
    • Tap Add members to add people to the conversation.
    • Tap Mute conversation to mute notifications for 1 hour, 8 hours, 1 week, or Forever
    • To report the group conversation, tap Report conversation.
    • To remove yourself from the group conversation, tap Leave conversation.

To send a Direct Message via twitter.com

  1. Click Messages in the top navigation bar.
  2. You'll see a pop up showing your Direct Message history. Click the New message button.
  3. In the address box, enter the name(s) or @username(s) of the people you wish to send a message to. A group message can include up to 50 people.
  4. In addition to text, you can include a photo, video, GIF, or send a sticker via Direct Message.
    • Click the photo icon  to upload a photo or video.
    • To include an animated GIF in your message, tap the GIF icon  to search for and select a file from the media library.
    • Click the sticker icon  to select a sticker from a preselected set to immediately send.
  5. Click the Send button or press the enter key to send.
Note: To start a new line in a message, press the shift and enter keys at the same time. Pressing only the enter key will send your message.

To delete a Direct Message or conversation:

  • To delete a Direct Message, hover your mouse over the message and click the trash can icon  that appears. Then click Delete to confirm.
  • To delete an entire conversation, locate the conversation and click to open it. Click the information icon  then select Delete conversation from the Conversation Info page. Then click Leave to confirm.
  • When you delete a Direct Message or conversation (sent or received), it is deleted from your account only. Others in the conversation will still be able to see Direct Messages or conversations that you have deleted.

To manage a group conversation:

  • From within a group conversation, click on the information icon  to access the conversation settings:
    • From within the Conversation Info page, click the more icon  to access the drop-down menu. You can choose to Edit group name, Upload new photo, View photo or Remove photo.
      Note: The option to view and remove the photo will be available only if a group message photo is uploaded.
  • Under Notifications, you can select to: 
    • Click Mute conversation to mute notifications for 1 hour, 8 hours, 1 week, or Forever
  • To report the group conversation, click Report conversation.
  • To remove yourself from the group conversation, click Leave conversation.

To mute Direct Message notifications

You can mute notifications for Direct Messages for 1 hour, 8 hours, 1 week, or Forever. When you mute a Direct Message conversation, you will still receive new messages, but you won’t receive a notification each time.


How to mute from within a Direct Message conversation:

  1. Navigate to the Direct Message you’d like to mute.
  2. Click or tap into the message settings:
    1. From the Twitter for iOS or Android app: Tap the information icon  then tap Mute notifications (on iOS, drag the slider). 
    2. From twitter.com: Tap the information icon  then select Mute notifications
  3. From the pop-up menu, select the mute time interval you’d like: 1 hour, 8 hours, 1 week, or Forever
  4. To unmute, tap or click the information icon or more icon, then tap or click Unmute notifications.


How to mute from your Direct Message inbox on Twitter for iOS:

  1. Navigate to your Direct Message inbox.
  2. Find the conversation you’d like to mute.
  3. Swipe left on the message and tap the notifications icon 
    Note: You can also choose to report  or delete  a conversation when you swipe left.
  4. From the pop-up menu, select the mute time interval you’d like: 1 hour, 8 hours, 1 week, or Forever
  5. To unmute, swipe left and tap the muted notifications icon 

 

How to mute from your Direct Message inbox on Twitter for Android:

  1. Navigate to your Direct Message inbox.
  2. Find the conversation you’d like to mute.
  3. Long-press on the message and tap Mute notifications.
  4. From the pop-up menu, select the mute time interval you’d like: 1 hour, 8 hours, 1 week, or Forever
  5. To unmute, long-press on the message and tap Unmute notifications.

 

How to mute from a Direct Message push notification:

  1. Find the Direct Message push notification on your mobile device’s lock screen you’d like to mute:
    1. From the Twitter for iOS app: Swipe left on the lock screen push notification, tap View, then tap Mute for 1 hour.
    2. From the Twitter for Android app: Swipe down on the lock screen push notification, then tap Mute
  2. Conversation notifications will be muted for one hour. 

To report a Direct Message or conversation

You can report an individual message or an entire conversation. Read our Reporting a Tweet or Direct Message for violations article for full instructions.

To share a Tweet via Direct Message

Sharing a Tweet via Direct Message is a great way to spark a conversation with a group of friends. Learn more here.

To receive Direct Messages from anyone

You can receive messages from anyone if you check the box next to Receive Direct Messages from anyone in your Privacy and safety settings on twitter.com. You can also adjust this setting via the Twitter for iOS or Twitter for Android apps.

Note: If you enable this option, anyone can add you to group conversations.

 

To change your settings using Twitter for iOS:

  1. In the top menu, tap your profile icon.
  2. Select Settings and privacy.
  3. Tap Privacy and safety.
  4. Under Direct Messages, and next to Receive messages from anyone, drag the slider to allow anyone to send you Direct Messages.

 

To change your settings using Twitter for Android:

  1. In the top menu, you will either see a navigation menu icon  or your profile icon. Tap whichever icon you have.
  2. Select Settings and privacy.
  3. Tap Privacy and safety.
  4. Under Direct Messages, and next to Receive messages from anyone, check the box to allow anyone to send you Direct Messages.
Note: Disabling the Receive messages from anyone setting will not prevent you from continuing to receive Direct Messages from someone you don't follow if you have a prior conversation already established with that person. You will need to either report the conversation or block the account to stop receiving Direct Messages from that person.

To review Direct Message requests

If you have the Receive messages from anyone setting enabled, incoming messages from people you don’t follow will appear as Requests in the Messages tab. New group conversations that you’re added to by people you don’t follow will also appear in Requests. Entering the conversation, you will be asked to either Delete or Accept the message. Accepting the message will allow you to engage with the person, and will move the message to your inbox. Please note that they will not know you have seen the message until you have accepted their request.

Deleting the message will remove it from your inbox. Note: Deleting a message will not prevent that account from sending you messages in the future. You will always have the option to block the account or report the conversation. Blocked accounts cannot send you messages, unless you unblock them.

Accepting the message will allow you to engage with the person. All media will be hidden prior to accepting the message. If you wish to view the hidden media, click or tap View media.

Note: The option to Accept or Delete messages and View Media from someone new that you don't follow is only available on the Twitter for iOS and Android apps, and twitter.com.

To disable Direct Message read receipts

Direct Messages feature read receipts so you know when people have seen your messages. When someone sends you a Direct Message and your Show read receipts setting is enabled, everyone in the conversation will know when you’ve seen it. This setting is enabled by default but you can turn it off (or back on) through your settings at any time. If you turn off the Show read receipts setting, you will not be able to see read receipts from other people.

Read receipts are only viewable on the Twitter for iOS and Android apps, and twitter.com. Please note, however, that read receipts will also be sent when you view Direct Messages on mobile web.

 

To disable or enable using Twitter for iOS:

  1. In the top menu, tap your profile icon.
  2. Select Settings and privacy.
  3. Tap Privacy and safety.
  4. Under Direct Messages, and next to Show read receipts, drag the slider to turn the feature off or back on. 

 

To disable or enable using Twitter for Android:

  1. In the top menu, you will either see a navigation menu icon  or your profile icon. Tap whichever icon you have.
  2. Select Settings and privacy.
  3. Tap Privacy and safety.
  4. Under Direct Messages, and next to Show read receipts, uncheck the box to turn the feature off or check the box to turn back on.

 

To disable or enable via twitter.com:

  1. Click your profile icon, then click Settings and privacy.
  2. Click on Privacy and safety.
  3. Under Privacy and next to Send/Receive read receipts, click the box to turn the feature off or click the box to turn back on.
Note: For conversations that appear under Requests, the sender(s) will not be able to see if you have read their Direct Messages unless you accept the conversation.

To send and receive Direct Messages on your phone via SMS

If your Twitter account is connected to your mobile phone, you can send and receive Direct Messages via SMS.

  • Haven't added your mobile phone yet? Find out how here.
  • Added your mobile phone already? Find out what text commands to use to send Direct Messages via SMS.
  • Read this article about setting up your mobile preferences to learn more about how to receive Direct Messages via SMS.
A note about Direct Message failures: Please be careful to ensure that Direct Messages you send via SMS are under 160 characters, including the d command and username. Your service provider may split SMS messages greater than 160 characters into multiple SMS messages. In this case, the second and any subsequent SMS messages will post as public Tweets because they don’t begin with the appropriate text command (d username) that tells Twitter they are Direct Messages, as the first SMS message did.

Some important things to know about Direct Messages

  • When you delete a Direct Message or conversation (sent or received), it is deleted from your account only. Others in the conversation will still be able to see Direct Messages or conversations that you have deleted. When you delete a group conversation, you will leave that group and will no longer be able to participate.
  • When you share a link in a Direct Message, it is automatically processed and shortened to a t.co link. You can learn more about link shortening here. Please note that anyone with a t.co shortened link will be able to navigate to the destination URL.
  • When you share media in a Direct Message, it will be viewable by everyone in the conversation. Please note that recipients may download or re-share links to media that you share in a Direct Message. Anyone with the link to media shared in a Direct Message will be able to view the content.

Need more information?

Check out our frequently asked questions article for Direct Messages.