Twitter is testing a way to allow you to limit the number of people who can reply to your tweets in an attempt to limit harassment on the social network. The new setting, which is deployed to select users from today, will add response settings when users tweet, which can, at most, completely reduce all responses. “Twitter is where you go to see and talk about what’s going onSays Suzanne Xie, director of product management at Twitter. “But sometimes unwanted responses make meaningful conversations difficult“
If you are part of the test, when you write a tweet, you will be able to choose whether you allow responses from everyone, from people you follow or only from people you mention (@). In January, Twitter announced that it would be available on the platform later this year.
Here’s a video from Twitter showing how this new feature works:
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
If you limit replies to a tweet, anyone who can see your tweets will still be able to see that tweet, and they will be able to like and retweet it – they simply will not be able to reply if you have excluded them. Twitter will also post a label on tweets with limited response parameters, so you can tell right away if you can answer it or not. You can see what this label looks like in this image:
Twitter reports that “only a limited group of people in the worldOn Android, iOS and the web app are part of the test to limit responses. As it is in test mode, there is no guarantee that it will become a universal feature, but Twitter says the deployment is designed to “give people more opportunities to give their point of view while giving them control over the conversations they start“
A limited test for the moment
Limiting who can reply to your tweets could help prevent abuse and harassment on the platform. In theory, by keeping the responses to a limited group of people, you could have more thoughtful and focused conversations with the people of your choice without the risk of trolls jumping into the conversation.
Twitter has implemented a number of new features in the past few months to improve conversations on the platform, including allowing you to hide responses and testing a new interface for conversation threads.