Twitter is testing a new feature that lets users decide who can reply to their tweets, the company announced on Wednesday, and some accounts are already using it in some interesting new ways.
Previously, anybody could reply to anybody on Twitter (as long as their profile wasn’t private or blocked). But now, if you’re part of the test, you can decide if you want to allow replies from everyone, only people you follow, or only people you tag — which, if you don’t tag anyone, means that no one can reply at all. Deciding who can reply to which tweet on a tweet-by-tweet basis could change how some people use the social media platform in significant ways.
- Twitter is testing a new feature that lets customers determine who can reply to their tweets
- There is the potential that limiting replies may very well be used extra nefariously.
Interviews on Twitter, for example, could be much more streamlined, and NBC’s Twitter account for Meet the Press has already shown an example of how. Meet the Press announced an interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell and only allowed people it tagged in the tweet to reply — which, in this case, was only Mitchell. What followed almost felt like a long tweetstorm, split between two accounts.
Limiting how customers can work together with dwell Twitter interviews does imply that emergent conversations received’t happen as simply within the replies — you’ll be able to theoretically nonetheless quote tweet messages even when these tweets have replies restricted, and conversations could possibly begin that approach. Nonetheless, the limitation means interviews could not really feel fairly as natural as they often have been earlier than.On the plus aspect, the characteristic does make interviews a lot simpler to comply with, which might have been helpful for, say, the messy #KaraJack interview between Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Recode’s Kara Swisher again in February 2019.
Limiting replies is also used to assist stop the unfold of spoilers for upcoming motion pictures, TV reveals, and video video games. On Thursday, for instance, Naughty Canine posted screenshots of its upcoming PS4 title The Final of Us Half II, and restricted replies to individuals it tagged — which was nobody.
There’s the potential that limiting replies could possibly be used extra nefariously. If politicians or public officers publish misinformation and don’t enable replies, individuals wouldn’t have the ability to simply fact-check a tweet within the replies that would seem beneath the unique misinformation, the place it may do essentially the most assist in correcting the document. And apparently, the ACLU is arguing that public officers blocking replies would violate the First Modification — President Donald Trump has but to utilize the characteristic, however it is going to certainly encourage debate if and when he does.
Within the case of misinformation, if the unique account isn’t permitting replies to a tweet, customers can nonetheless use a quote tweet to remark. It’s not essentially the most preferred resolution — a quote tweet solely seems on your feed, so a fact-check, for instance, probably received’t be seen by everybody who noticed the unique tweet — but it surely’s nonetheless a solution to weigh in in case you aren’t capable of immediately reply.