Every once in a while, I’ll stumble on the Twitter account of a celebrity I admire. Once I get past my moment of “OMG, it’s Neil Gaiman!” (or whoever), I try to browse their tweets. Sometimes, the browsing ends with, “Awesome! Follow!” Other times, I’m left thinking, “God, I have no idea what’s going,” because their tweet stream is dominated by incomprehensible conversations with people I don’t know or care about.
To be fair, the scenario I described above could happen on Twitter account, not just celebrities, but it’s exacerbated on celebrity accounts, because more people are tweeting at them, and more random users are browsing their tweets. So Twitter just announced a solution — simplified profiles that hide “@” replies when you look at the profile, the same way they’re already hidden from your general stream of tweets. Apparently you’ll be able to turn this feature on and off. Judging from the screenshot above, when you’re looking at a profile, you just choose whether you want to see “all” tweets” or “no replies.”
The company says these new profiles will be rolling out to Verified Accounts (which are mostly celebrities and brands) over the next few weeks.
This could be especially important for Twitter’s more casual users. CEO Dick Costolo has said in the past that 40 percent of the service’s users don’t tweet, and he argues that’s a good thing, because it’s a sign that Twitter isn’t just for power users, but is also attracting a mainstream audience. That audience is probably going to be interested in following celebrities, but it might not have the patience to decipher their’ conversations with other users — they just want to see the updates meant for the general public.
Meanwhile, brands may also like this because they can present their messages to consumers and fans without having it interspersed with random customer service-type tweets.