After months of testing Twitter has rolled out its new feature that will allow users to limit who can reply to their tweets on the social platform.
The company first announced the change at the Las Vegas tech conference CES in January, saying the move would help to improve online conversations.
Now, when people post a tweet to the platform, they can choose who can reply to the post, selecting from three options: everyone, meaning anyone on Twitter can reply; only people you follow, or only people you mention in the tweet. People who can’t reply to the tweet can still like, retweet, retweet with a comment and share the post.
The company’s Support account announced the launch of the new feature. “We’re just getting started with features to help you feel safer tweeting and have more meaningful conversations.”
Already, people are having fun with the feature, such as Richard Osman who posted, “£1000 to the first person to reply to this tweet.” Despite having over 1,600 likes on the post, Osman has taken advantage of the new feature so only people he has mentioned in the post can reply, which is only himself.
“Being able to manage who replies on the platform will hopefully give the control rightfully back to the user, and help mitigate the risk of being a victim of cyberbullying and trolling.”
When speaking at CES, Twitter’s director of product management Suzanne Xie said this was part of the reasoning behind the feature. “Getting ratio’d, getting dunked on, the dynamics that happen that we think aren’t as healthy are definitely part of our thinking about this.”
In particular, during the testing of the feature, Twitter found that people felt more comfortable tweeting and protected from spam and abuse. It can also help to lead to “more meaningful conversations”, something the platform is keen to promote. People using the new settings were able to have more sensitive conversations about politics and social issues.
If you start tweeting with these new features, keep in mind that people can still see what you say, it’s just they can’t respond. If it’s a private matter you’re wanting to discuss, it’s probably still better to switch over to DM.