10 reasons why Twitter Direct Messages suck (and so do Facebook’s)

OK, over on Twitter they have this feature. It’s called “Direct Messages.” It means you can send me a Tweet that no one else can see. A LOT of people try to use this feature with me and I really, really, hate it. How many people? I have 4,388 direct messages.

Twitter isn’t the only one that sucks, either. Facebook has a Messaging feature too. 1,249 messages are waiting for me there.

I do NOT answer in either place most of the time. Why? Here’s 10 reasons why they suck and why I’d much rather you email me at scobleizer@gmail.com or, simply, just ask me a question in public!

1. I can’t delete them all. So I ignore them all.
2. I can’t put them into folders. So, no way to prioritize them. Or, if you are a Gmail addict, no way to tag messages.
3. No way to resort them. No way to see old messages. Or messages from someone specific. Email has those features.
4. No way to forward messages. That means they are useless for business. If you ask me a business question I MUST forward the question and get approvals. No way to do that on Twitter.
5. No way to BCC messages. In email I can copy my boss blindly so you can’t see that I’m doing that. That’s a way that I can keep him involved in my life and up to date on all the wild promises I’m making to people. That’s why I don’t make promises on Twitter or Facebook.
6. You ask me a question that requires a 500 word response but you ask it in a place that limits me to 140 characters. Thanks for frustrating me.
7. I can’t respond to your own DM’s unless you follow me. Seriously. The design of Twitter’s DM’s +is+ that lame.
8. I can’t put an auto answer onto DM’s so that I can tell you to get a clue and to send me email instead.
9. I can’t CC, or copy other people, or send a message to a group. Things that email has been able to do for years.
10. I can’t move my DM’s out of Twitter and into other systems. That’s something that I’ve been able to do with email for years and it’s served me well. Even Hotmail lets me forward emails to Gmail.
11. UPDATE, this just came in via Twitter from @TraciKnoppe: “@Scobleizer Use your great influence for good & get Twitter to chng the DM req. & API limits. Make it so number one. :P”

Anyway, I hate DMs. Don’t you? @ev can we get these things fixed? Yes, that’s my form of direct messaging @ev because this feature has caused me so much hell over the years.

217 thoughts on “10 reasons why Twitter Direct Messages suck (and so do Facebook’s)

  1. Some people will just bitch and moan about everything… The solution is quite simple don't use twitter don't use facebook if it irritates you so much that you have to write a web article about it… Use your email then…

  2. Some people will just bitch and moan about everything… The solution is quite simple don't use twitter don't use facebook if it irritates you so much that you have to write a web article about it… Use your email then…

  3. If you are tired of facebook but want a way to connect with artists and musicians
    then you should check out http://www.putiton.com
    If you are tired of facebook but still want to connect with your friends then pick up the phone…

  4. I like it. But then again, I only DM with people that I would txt, so it’s virtually the same thing, just with a 140 limit.

    If I were in your shoes, I probably wouldn’t like it so much.

  5. I like it. But then again, I only DM with people that I would txt, so it’s virtually the same thing, just with a 140 limit.

    If I were in your shoes, I probably wouldn’t like it so much.

  6. I often find direct messages ages after they were sent. I don’t mind messages on Facebook though as I find this easier to manage than my email in boxes – mainly because of the volume is currently more manageable.

  7. I often find direct messages ages after they were sent. I don’t mind messages on Facebook though as I find this easier to manage than my email in boxes – mainly because of the volume is currently more manageable.

  8. I agree with a lot of the comments above that different technologies should be used for different things – email, facebook and twitter.

    But also that the use or misuse of DM is annoying for people with a lot of followers. As such can appreciate some of your points and reason for request for email or open tweets. Perhaps also request a polite ‘No DMs’ in your bio so that new followers get the message or get reminded of this post and don’t DM?

    So… the No Direct Mail notices make their way from the letterbox to social media channels. DM really has had a bad rap over the years!

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