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Twitter update enhances DM feature with image support and prominent positioning

Twitter rolled out a pretty major update to its microblogging app Tuesday, with both the iOS and Android versions getting the makeover.

One change that’ll stand out for many is the fact that you can now send images in direct messages (DMs), as opposed to just text. Its appearance on the redesigned tab bar will also make it easier to access DMs, so, as Twitter’s Jeremy Gordon wrote in a blog post detailing the update, “they’re just one tap away from wherever you are on Twitter.”

More about that new-look tab bar – it now shows with links for Timelines, Notifications, Messages, and Me.

The update brings with it the ability to swipe between your various timelines, which serves to streamline the app’s functionality. Before it would’ve taken a couple of taps to get to your Discover and Activity timelines, but now it’s just a simple case of swiping to the left for access.

Other changes include, for iOS users, new in-app notifications that let you know when other users send you a DM or favorite, retweet, or reply to your tweets. On Twitter for Android, you can enable mobile notifications for specific users by tapping the star on their profile.

Twitter’s move to put its direct message feature front and center with this update indicates the microblogging service is taking a deeper interest in the private-messaging space currently successfully occupied by the likes of WhatsApp, Kik, and fast-growing Snapchat. It’s an area apparently of growing interest to other social media services, too, with Instagram rumored to be announcing a private messaging feature on Thursday.

Twitter’s update varies slightly depending on the platform – below you’ll find the changelogs for both iOS and Android.

iOS (iTunes store):

– Refreshed look and feel. Home, Activity and Discover now available by swiping in Timelines. Easier access to DMs.

 – Share photos in Direct Messages – send and receive photos via DMs.

 – Notifications from your network – choose to view replies, retweets, and favorites from only the people that you follow.

– Search got even easier – access tweets from people you follow and near you, directly from search results.

 – Safari Reading List support – save web articles to read later with Safari Reading List.

Android (Google Play):

– New design.

– Refreshed look and feel. Home, Activity and Discover now available by swiping in Timelines. Easier access to DMs.

– Share photos in Direct Messages.

– Send and receive photos via DMs.

– Notifications from your network.

– Choose to view Replies, Retweets, and Favorites from only the people that you follow.

– Receive Push Notifications from the people you care about most.

– Favorite their profile to receive a Push Notification any time they tweet.