While Twitter's existence has centered on having conversations that can be seen by the public, the social media company is reportedly tweaking its direct messaging platform by having a new app that will make conversations between users more discreet. Various reports say that a standalone Twitter direct messaging app is in the works.
Twitter has been making some buzz of late because of its planned New York Stock Exchange initial public offering but it appears all engines are on full blast to introduce changes to grow the company. The social network is already testing a feature that allows its users to get direct messages even from non-followers. With the hype about messaging apps such as Kik, BBM, Line, WhatApp, and BBM, the company wants to explore the opportunities with a new service for its users.
According to sources, Twitter has plans to launch a standalone app aside from the current Twitter app. There are no final words yet on what form this app will take as scooped by the technology blog AllThingsD. Twitter did not comment about the alleged direct messaging revamp. The report also noted that KakaoTalk and Snapchat specifically caught the attention of Twitter.
Kakao, a service based in Asia, was even mentioned in the IPO documentation filed by the company.
"Competition for users of our products and services is intense. Although we have developed a new global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time, we face strong competition in our business. We compete against many companies to attract and engage users, including companies which have greater financial resources and substantially larger user bases, such as Facebook (including Instagram), Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo!, which offer a variety of Internet and mobile device-based products, services and content," the IPO documentation stated.
"As a result, our competitors may acquire and engage users at the expense of the growth or engagement of our user base, which would negatively affect our business. We also compete against smaller companies, such as Sina Weibo, LINE and Kakao, each of which is based in Asia," the SEC filing added.
Putting direct messaging under the spotlight was not really in the plans of Twitter. In fact, there were reports that it planned to kill the direct messaging service to make the platform truly public. Instead of doing this, Twitter redesigned its desktop and mobile interface to hide the direct messaging feature away from the home screen.
Sources are also saying that the social networking company met with the team of the mobile messaging app MessageMe early 2013.
Whether Twitter is giving into the popularity of direct messaging apps is a wait-and-watch game. There are speculations that updates might be announced prior or just after the company's IPO set for next month.