Twitter is rolling out a new ‘feature’ to its iOS app today, prioritizing Direct Messages in the timeline by adding a prominent icon inline to tweets in the timeline. Tapping the new Direct Message button opens a new message with one of your Twitter followers, linking the tweet from the timeline as the starting point of the conversation. In the blog post, Twitter says updates for the app are rolling out from today.

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A long rumor for Twitter has been an expansion of the Direct Message system into a fully-fledged mainstream messaging service, perhaps with a dedicated app a la WhatsApp, although this is yet to transpire. A while ago, it rolled out 10,000 character direct messages breaking out of the traditional 140 character limit for private communication.

Download the Twitter app for free from the iOS App Store.

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