Twitter just became a bit more like a messaging app: the company updated its direct messages feature to support photos for the first time in its mobile apps. Photos can also be viewed in direct messages on Twitter's website. And direct messages are also a bit more prominent inside the app, as the company promoted the feature to one of the four core functions in the lower navigation bar. The update follows months of rumors that after a long period of neglect, direct messages have been embraced by the company as it tries to increase its user base.

Twitter is also encouraging users to explore different parts of the service by allowing you to swipe between different timelines inside the app. You can now swipe from your main ("home") timeline to the Discover and Activity tabs. Other updates include in-app notifications for iOS and user-specific notification preferences for Android. The apps are being updated today, the company said.