Twitter has introduced a new feature for Vine that allows users to send video clips and messages privately to other users. It arrives roughly six months after competitor Instagram added similar functionality and further reflects the popularity of private messaging apps and services.

In a blog post on the matter, the company said they recognized since the early days that there was a growing desire and need for private messaging. It's a bit surprising that it took Vine this long to come up with an answer to Instagram's service, but I guess better late than never, eh?

To get started, simply select the new "Messages" option in the navigation menu, record a clip or compose a message and send it to anyone you want. Each VM, or Vine message, can be sent to multiple people or a single recipient although each conversation is one-to-one - or in other words, not like a public group chat. Those on the receiving end can naturally reply with their own text or videos.

VMs can be sent to anyone, even if you don't follow them or vice-versa. Fortunately, you can disable receiving Vines from people you don't know in the settings. What's more, you can send messages to people that aren't on Vine via SMS or e-mail.

In addition to the messaging feature, the update also introduces colors to customize your profile. Head over to the settings menu to view and select a profile color. Choose wisely as it'll also be visible to other Vine users.

Those interested in trying out Vine messages will need to download the latest version of the app from their respective app stores.