On Tuesday, twitter released an update that allows users determine who can reply their tweets and who can not. In a blog post published in Tuesday by Twitter’s director of product management, it reads that the feature is part of the platform’s efforts to give people more control over their conversations on the platform.
“Sometimes people are more comfortable talking about what’s happening when they can choose who can reply,” Suzanne Xie writes. “Starting today, everyone will be able to use these settings so unwanted replies don’t get in the way of meaningful conversations.”
Below is an instruction on how the feature works: while in the process of tweeting, a user will have three options to choose who can reply his/her tweet: everyone, which is the standard default setting, only people the users follows, or only people the user mentions in the tweet. If a setting other than the default setting, the reply icon will be grayed out which indicates that the option isn’t available to the user. The restricted users can still retweet, share, comment or even like the tweet, they just wouldn’t be able to reply.
The blog post also states that research done by Twitter shows that people who had access to the limited replies felt comfortable tweeting and they’re have less issues with spams and abuse. It also lessened unwanted direct messages.
And it’s another way to block out noise, Twitter found; 60 percent of people who used the settings didn’t use the platform’s mute or block options during the test period.
The feature has been experimented on since May and last week, an update was released for the iPhone version of its mobile app which made people assume that the general rollout was coming. Eventually, it was false as twitter confirmed that the update was released by mistake.
It isn’t certain if restricting replies makes conversations better on twitter, the company seems to think that users have used the settings to have more sensitive conversations about politics and social issues. “People are sharing more of their thoughts, tweets using these settings about topics like Black Lives Matter and COVID-19 are on average longer than those that don’t use these settings,” the blog post states.
The update is available globally, for Android and iPhone Users.