Twitter is now allowing custom profiles in Direct Messages for companies using its social network to communicate with customers and offer technical support, as revealed by Twitter's Product Manager Ian Cairns. The new feature started rolling out on Wednesday and should already be available to businesses worldwide. Cairns said that this functionality was developed with the goal of allowing brands to highlight the human component of Direct Messages they share with their customers. The company's first major partner that will take advantage of this feature is T-Mobile. Customer service agents of the third largest wireless service provider in the United States have been using their names and initials in their tweets since last year, so Twitter's new addition seems to be compatible with their efforts to emphasize the personal, human element of their online interactions with customers.
T-Mobile's customer support account already implemented custom profiles in Direct Messages which allows customers to see the name, face, and the title of the agent they're conversing with on Twitter. Apart from making interactions with businesses more personal, Twitter is hoping that custom profiles will help users differentiate between human agents and customer service bots that are used by numerous brands on Twitter. The fact that T-Mobile embraced this new addition to the platform isn't surprising seeing how the company also openly supported some similar features that Twitter introduced in the past. For example, T-Mobile was among the first adopters of Twitter's Support Account labels that were launched last fall.
Apart from differentiating between individual agents and bots, custom profiles in Direct Messages will also allow businesses to create branded bots, the company said. As the feature will help users know whether they're speaking to a human or not as soon as they start a conversation, Twitter is hoping that this new addition will also help manage expectations and consequently improve the overall user experience of the service. Still, the functionality was obviously designed to appeal to major brands that are using Twitter as a customer support service, which makes sense in light of the fact that Twitter is currently in the process of streamlining its operations and increasing its profits, as revealed by the company's Q4 2016 financials. After all, there aren't a lot better ways to increase profits than to keep major advertisers happy.