05/04/2016 17:30 BST | Updated 06/04/2017 06:12 BST

New Twitter Button Allows Users To Share Tweets With Direct Messages In Two Taps

Twitter has added a new button to tweets, one that enables users to share a tweet using Direct Messages in two taps, starting a private conversation more quickly.

Until now, users had to select a tweet by tapping it, then use the Settings option to select Send via Direct Message in order to send it to another user privately. Now, a message button will appear alongside the existing reply, retweet and like buttons that sit beneath each tweet. 

The social media site is on a drive to gain more users after a difficult 2015 in which co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to the company as CEO following the departure of Dick Costolo, the company's share price plummeted and at one point in December it saw user numbers briefly drop.

It is in stark contrast to rival social sites such as Facebook, which has more than 1.5 billion users - compared with Twitter's 320 million. 

Twitter says it believes this new feature will help to make conversations on the site "richer" and follows on from the company's decision to remove the character limit in Direct Messages last year. 

Product manager Somas Thyagaraja said: "Every day, millions of people send Direct Messages to communicate privately with friends, family, experts, brands, and anyone else they find interesting on Twitter. In fact, we've seen the number of messages sent grow over 60% in 2015. And the number of Tweets shared privately has grown even faster, at 200% in just the second half of last year.

"With all this interest, we've also heard from many of you that it could be easier to share a tweet using Direct Message. So now - in just a few taps - you can share unique Twitter content from your timeline right into your private conversation."

The site confirmed the new button would appear as part of an update to the official Twitter app that would be pushed out to users on both iOS and Android from today.