Twitter just changed the game.
The social media site is now giving members the option of allowing followers to send them direct messages -- even if they don't follow them back. So anyone's private Twitter inbox could be opened up to strangers, if they so choose.
If you click over to Twitter's settings page, you'll see this language: "If you check this option, any Twitter user that follows you will be able to send you a DM, regardless of whether you decide to follow them back." The new option was first pointed out by marketer Jim Connolly on Twitter.
It's a big update: Though you've always been able to publicly tweet at anyone, the "direct message," or DM, was only open to people who followed each other.
The change might be a new way for Twitter to curry favor with advertisers who can now send direct messages to anyone who's checked that box. The 7-year-old company is looking to gain points with advertisers as it gets ready for its public debut.
Anyone who checks that box shouldn't be surprised if they get a lot of DM spam from corporations in the future.