Twitter has been on a long-term mission to overhaul how people have conversations on its platform, both to make them easier to follow and more engaging without turning toxic. That strategy is taking another big step forward this year, starting in Q1 with a new way for people to control conversations, by giving them four options to “tailor” their replies: anyone can reply, only those who a user follows can reply, only those tagged can reply, or setting a tweet to get no replies at all. (Goodbye, needing to make space for “don’t @me.”)
The plans were unveiled just this morning during CES in Las Vegas, where Twitter has been holding an event for media led by Kayvon Beykpour, VP of product at the company.
“The primary motivation is control,” he said today. “We want to build on the theme of authors getting more control and we’ve thought… that there are many analogs of how people have communications in life.”
(Of course you are unable to silence people from replying to you in person, but that’s another matter.”
The plans were laid out in more detail by Suzanne Xie, head of conversations for the platform, who said the feature builds on something the company launched in 2019, where users can hide replies.
“We thought, well ,what if we could actually put more control into the author’s hands before the fact? Give them really a way to control the conversation space, as they’re actually composing a tweet? So there’s a new project that we’re working on,” she said. “The reason we’re doing this is, if we think about what conversation means on Twitter. Right now, public conversation on Twitter is you tweet something everyone in the world will see and everyone can reply, or you can have a very private conversation in a DM. So there’s an entire spectrum of conversations that we don’t see on Twitter yet.”
Other areas that Twitter discussed at the event included more focus on Topics, which will be expanded and taken global, and with that more work on how people can create and share lists. Its NBA isocam will be used again this year to let users vote on their favorite players, and a similar new version, called the “stancam” will be created on the same principle for entertainment events. On the marketing front it will be building out more analytics and expending Twitter Surveys globally, as well as building a new platform, Launch, for marketers roll out new products and services for advertisers.
We’re going to be talking with the company later this morning and will update this news as we hear more.