Twitter To Let Users Choose Who Can Reply To Tweets
Twitter is officially testing a new feature that allows users to prohibit entire groups of people from replying to individual tweets. Unlike some test features that are rolled out unannounced, Twitter is actively encouraging people to try this one. If you choose one of the latter two options, your tweets will be labelled and the reply icon will be greyed out, so people will see that they can’t reply. However, those that can’t reply will still be able to view, retweet, retweet with comment or like your tweets.
Only a limited group of people on Twitter’s iOS and Android apps as well as its website can currently send tweets that limit replies, but everyone can still see those conversations. It’s unclear if or when the feature would roll out more generally.
A new way to have a convo with exactly who you want. We’re starting with a small % globally, so keep your 👀 out to see it in action. pic.twitter.com/pV53mvjAVT
— Twitter (@Twitter) May 20, 2020
Twitter states in an announcement:
“Unwanted replies make it hard to have meaningful conversations,”
Twitter originally unveiled its plan to give users more control over who can reply to a tweet in January, at CES 2020.
It’s pretty straightforward, from what we can tell. It seems to work a bit like Facebook you’ll see an option on your tweet that tells you who can reply to you. Select this and you’ll be able to limit it to people you follow, or to only the people you mention in the tweet. If you don’t mention anyone in the tweet, that last option will effectively keep anyone from replying. For any tweet like this, anyone who doesn’t fall within the permitted group will see the reply button greyed out on the tweet.
Note: that this won’t stop anyone from quote-tweeting, retweeting, liking or seeing the tweets in question.
While limiting replies could help users prevent online bullying and make conversations on the platform easier to follow, it could also create more “filter bubbles,” in which people’s political viewpoints or biases are reinforced.
Who Can Reply Setting:
Users will be able to choose who can reply to a tweet as they’re composing it.
There are three setting to choose from:
- Everyone can reply
- Only people you follow can reply
- Only people you mention can reply
Other users will be able to see tweets with the latter two settings, but the reply button will be greyed out.
reply if you want to be verified!
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) May 20, 2020
In a thread, one of Twitter’s designers explains what these new conversation settings are intended for:
“In the real world, people have public conversations with friends, experts, and other intentionally chosen groups of people.
Control over who can participate allows for a variety of conversation types, including panel discussions, interviews, and public statements.
With this experiment, we intend to replicate some of this real-world control, but why?
We want to help people discuss sensitive topics, while feeling safe.
We want to help people discuss fascinating topics with experts, public figures, or friends, without interruption.”
Earlier, Twitter had given the option to users to hide the replies from their timeline to give people some control over the conversations on the micro-blogging platform. It also redesigned its app a bit by including threaded replies, this gives a better view to users about who posted what. Twitter has also been trying out a feature called fleeting thoughts, which is similar to the Stories on Instagram. The posts will come with a time period and it will diminish from the site after the said time frame.