Twitter doesn’t allow you to send direct messages (DMs) to people who don’t follow you. Generally, you have to send someone an @ message asking him or her to follow you, wait to get a positive reply, and only then can you go ahead and send the DM. It’s all rather convoluted and time-consuming, and even when you do manage to send a message to someone, it’s limited to 14o characters, which can make holding a useful conversation challenging. Umagram is a new third-party messaging application that aims to work around those limitations; it enables you initiate to private conversations with anyone on Twitter with no character limits, and it also supports file attachments.
To start a conversation with someone, enter the Twitter handle or email address (or multiple handles/email addresses, if you want to send a message to several people), type out your message, optionally upload any files, and hit “Send and Notify.” Your recipient or recipients will be directed to the conversation’s URL and asked to login with a Twitter account or Umagram account (to keep the conversation private). Once logged in, recipients are able to reply to the conversation thread, and can also upload files. Conversations are presented in chronological order down the page. Umagram supports basic markdown syntax, so messages can be formatted.
It’s quite a neat workaround to Twitter’s DM limitations, but Umagram isn’t a perfectly streamlined solution; you’ll still need to persuade the people you want to initiate a conversation with to click on a link and sign in using their Twitter credentials, giving permission to Umagram to update their information. That may be challenging, especially if you’re trying to talk to someone who doesn’t already know you, who may be wary of clicking on links sent to them by a stranger. However, it could be a useful tool for those situations where you’re having a discussion with someone over Twitter DM and the character limit or lack of support for files is proving awkward.