Twitter has announced plans to roll out a new feature that will allow users to decide who replies to their tweets. The new feature is currently being tested globally, but with only selected users in every country. The product will be launched for all Twitter users soon.
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
How it works
This feature, which some Twitter followers have described as “Mind your business feature”, will provide users with three options whenever they compose a tweet. See the options below:
“Compose a tweet, and @mention the people you want to talk to. Tap the permission settings, choose who can reply; everyone, people you follow or only people you mention”.
Note that only people that fall within the selected option can reply to the tweet, but everyone can see, like or retweet the conversation.
What this could mean
When this feature is fully launched, it could see a lot of transformations in the way people use this social media. Individuals and brands alike can now conveniently interact with selected persons, without having to deal with distractions from other users commenting or distorting the conversation thread.
As tweet chats, fireside chats, and twitter interviews go more viral, this option could allow for more coordinated conversations with only invited participants. Users who want to input their comments could retweet with comments, but their comments would not be directly seen on the twitter thread.
While some Twitter users commended this new feature as it is a good way to minimise the vitriol that often characterise social media, others have expressed worries that the feature could allow unverified news to spread unchecked.
Some say it’s a way to stop potential harassers from replying.
Do you guy even debate these things in your strategy meetings? Or have people with opposing views? Do you know the amount of people that are gonna spread fake news but won’t be called out on it thanks to this feature? .. don’t fix what’s not broken
— Cameron (@green_terro) May 20, 2020
There are also some users who were concerned about how this feature could affect engagements on chats and conversations.
Replies are what makes Twitter interesting. Imagine IG without Twitter screenshots. pic.twitter.com/Bd3V2tPbt6
— Arnoldi -#StayAtHomeSave Lives (@arnoldi254) May 20, 2020
Although this feature could help prevent replies from trollers and prevent harassment, some Twitter users expressed fears that the presence of the retweeting feature could take the trolling and harassment to a whole new level.
Considering the series of reactions and responses to this development, Twitter may choose to take constructive comments into consideration before the eventual launch of the feature.