Some Twitter users can no longer send links through the social network's direct message service. According to our early tests, unverified users are the ones seeing the issue, with unverified-to-verified and unverified-to-unverified DMs both affected. Meanwhile, those that are more fair than the others are free to send links privately to whoever they want. We've replicated the issue with several editors, and we've had no trouble sending page links (and, importantly, gifs) on DM to other (verified and unverified) Twitter users. This was across the web browser client, TweetDeck and the iOS app. According to ReadWrite, it was only able to send links to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with all other links bouncing back with an error message. The site reckons it could be a protective measure against spam, which could make sense, following the new ability to receive DMs from people you don't follow -- if you opt-in for it -- which launched this week. Then again, it could just be a bug -- we're receiving mixed reports from readers.
Update: We've also got in touch with Twitter, whose spokesperson told us that there is a "technical issue with URLs in direct messages" and well, not much else. It sounds like it's something that's being worked on rather than a new optional measure, although the social network didn't offer a timeframe for when the ability will stabilize.
Update 2: For more updates about where Twitter is with this issue, you can check out its direct message support page here. Right now it states: "We're restructuring back-end elements of our direct message system. As a result, users may be unable to send some URLs in direct messages. We apologize for the inconvenience."