SAN FRANCISCO - Updated mobile software rolled out Tuesday by Twitter lets smartphone users send pictures in direct, personal messages seen only by recipients instead of being shared publicly on the social network.
"For the first time, you can share and view photos via direct message on your mobile phone," Jeremy Gordon, the company's senior director of product engineering, wrote in a post on the Twitter blog.
"We've also introduced a new tab in the navigation bar that makes it easy to access direct messages -- they're just one tap away from wherever you are on Twitter."
The Instagram-style feature is in the latest Twitter applications tailored for Apple or Android smartphones, according to Gordon.
Twitter users now also have the option to "swipe" from their home screen timelines to a "discover" section to explore trends or popular 'tweets.'
"There are a bunch of other great updates in this release," Gordon said.