When you want to send something private to a friend or mutual follower of yours, Tweeting at them probably isn’t the best route to take, but directly messaging them definitely works. But, for some reason, directly messaging someone isn’t working on Twitter. The reasons for such a problem are, luckily, very few in nature. The root cause could be server-side (Twitter’s having issues) or it could be something as simple as failing to follow each other.

Are You Two Following Each Other?

That seems like a dumb question, but really, it is quite common among new users of Twitter and there’s no such thing as a dumb question. After all, not everyone is an expert at using Twitter.

The way it works is you have to follow someone first. After that, they have to return the invitation. Once you and another person are following each other, you can send direct messages to one another. You cannot directly message someone who isn’t following you and they can’t directly message you if you aren’t following them.

1. Head to someone’s Twitter profile page, preferably a friend.

follow the recipient

2. Near the bottom right corner of their banner, you’ll see Follow. Go ahead and click it or tap it (with mobile devices). You are now following them.

3. Wait for the person to follow back.

select message

4. Directly message them by clicking Messages at the top, when you’re using a browser.

tap the message icon

5. For individuals using the Twitter app, tap the envelope icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. That’s Messages.

Test Out Your Network Connection

Over time modems and routers lose the strength of their connection. Not by use, per say, more from the occasional disconnect between the modem and the internet provider. To be clear, it isn’t the equipment that’s degrading, but rather, the packets being sent back and forth, the data.

What isn’t generally known is that you should practice rebooting your modem every month or so. By rebooting your modem and router, you’re giving your equipment an opportunity to start with a clean slate. As time goes by, the packets your modem and router collect, can get corrupted and that corrupted data can build up. When that happens, your connection can lose its strength which, of course, you can restore. Here’s what you can do to help:

1. Locate your modem and router (if you have a router).

2. In the back, find the power cable for both your modem and router. Follow the cords until you reach the power outlet they are both plugged into.

3. Pull the power cords from the power outlet and give the modem and router at least 2 minutes.

4. After 2 minutes is up, go ahead plug them back in and reconnect your device to your network connection. If the problem was solved, then you discovered the source of the problem.

Looking Past 100 Direct Messages?

Were you looking for previous messages and found none? Well, if it was a direct message that was sent more than 100 messages ago, then it isn’t DM working incorrectly, but rather, DM working as intended.

Imagine you set a greeting to someone with a direct message. After another 100 direct messages between you two, that very first greeting will no longer be around. Twitter doesn’t keep more than 100 messages between you and one other person.

Speaking of direct messages, Twitter once allowed individuals to delete direct messages in a conversation and the deletion would be across the board. In other words, when one person deleted a direct message, it was also deleted on the receiver’s end, but that is no longer the case.

Limitations of SMS Texting

There’s dozens of apps that allow an individual to link their app to their SMS texting app. When you receive a notification through, say, Facebook Messenger, you can have SMS pick up the tab. As for Twitter, it isn’t any different. You can link your Twitter account to your SMS texting app and have all messages directed to your SMS texting app and you can respond accordingly.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always a clean link. It has absolutely made strides to work more fluidly with apps, including Twitter, but like many apps, you end up with hiccups occasionally. And this is one hiccup. However, the problem tends to stem from direct messages being longer than 160 characters. Your mobile carrier is, actually, the culprit in this instance because any direct messages longer than 160 characters, will get split into two messages or more. This results in some messages are getting partially sent.

What you can do about this is simply remove the link between your SMS texting app and Twitter. Try using Twitter’s native messaging system and notifications instead.

Bottom Line

The worst case scenario is Twitter is just going through an issue server-side. It happens from time to time and, depending on the severity of the problem, Twitter will get it running again. However, in the meantime, consider using another messaging service until the problem blows over. Ask around or get in touch with a friend that has that kind of knowledge. If that’s the case, read a book while you wait.