Twitter is rolling out buttons that brands can add to direct messages that, when clicked, can direct people to visit the brand’s site, post a pre-written tweet, follow the brand’s account or open a DM thread with another of the brand’s accounts. Brands can only use the buttons through Twitter’s API to manage their accounts’ direct messages.
The buttons are similar to the quick reply buttons that Twitter rolled out for brands’ DM bots in November 2016. But those quick reply buttons were meant to make it easier for bots to keep people in a conversation; the new buttons are meant to send people outside of the conversation.
Of the four new buttons — up to three of which can be attached to a single message — the more notable buttons are the ones that trigger people to do things within Twitter, like sending a tweet or following an account.
Brands can use the “send a tweet” button to have people publicly share a branded message with their followers, though they can’t prevent people from editing the brand’s drafted message to say something else.
Brands can use the “follow” button to get people to follow their accounts; that might sound odd, since they’re sharing that button with someone who’s already messaging them, but many brands may keep their DMs open in case non-followers want to get in contact for customer service inquiries.
And brands that own multiple Twitter accounts can use the “start a conversation” button to send someone from a DM thread with one of the brand’s account to another, which could come in handy if someone DMs a brand’s generic account about something that’s better handled by its customer support account.
The only notable thing about the link button is that it looks better than pasting a standard URL. As with the three other buttons, brands can customize the button’s text. Whether a link button or hyperlinked URL, clicking it opens a web page using Twitter’s in-app browser and returns people to the DM thread when closed.