Twitter is backtracking on a feature it made available last month that permitted users to opt-in to receive messages from followers without the need to follow back.

Without announcing the change, the micro-blogging platform has removed the checkbox in user settings that gave users the ability to allow direct messages from people they weren't following back. So once again if you want to send a direct message to someone you are following, he or she must be following you back. (I know; it's complicated in the world of Twitter.)

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While Twitter has yet to provide us a comment about this move, Mathew Ingram of tech-blog GigaOm received this reply:

The blog post Twitter links to is about the need for the micro-blogging platform to experiment.

"Experiments are perhaps even more valuable because they help us decide what not to do –– which is important as we work to keep Twitter simple while improving the user experience," the post states. "Ultimately, our goal is to learn and keep making the product better; we aren’t necessarily looking to launch all of the experiments we roll out."

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No one knows exactly why the company decided to remove the option but some speculate that Twitter has plans to roll out a separate, standalone direct-messaging platform for mobile devices.