There have been times I've wanted to reach out to someone on this platforms but haven't been able to, because we did not follow each other.
I was thinking about a feature where you can send a message to a user regardless of your following status with them, and it would go into a "pending" section until the other user chooses to accept it and continue the conversation. Of course, regular messages where both people follow each other could still work as they currently do.
In fact, Instagram already has a feature like this. If you the person you are trying to message does not follow you, it turns into a pending message, accessible from a button on the main messages screen. The user can reject it silently or accept it and continue to text with the request-sender.
I know it may not be possible for this feature to be implemented, but thank you for your consideration!