Twitter Circle: New feature lets you set audience for each tweetVish Gainon May 4, 2022 at 08:13 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Twitter is testing a new ‘Circle’ feature that will allow users to post tweets that are visible to only a select group of accounts, much like the ‘close friends’ feature on Instagram.

Unlike in a general tweet, Twitter Circle tweets are restricted for viewing by up to 150 accounts selected by the user to keep certain conversations private or within close circles.

Announced last evening (3 May), the new feature is intended to improve user experience by allowing for greater privacy and confidentiality without the need to make one’s account private.

Users can choose which tweet to share with everyone and which to restrict to just the Twitter Circle, a choice that is not available to those with private accounts. Users can also regularly update their Circle – and even include those accounts that don’t follow them.

“Some tweets are for everyone, and others are just for people you’ve picked,” the company tweeted through its Twitter Safety account yesterday.

The feature is available to a small group of Twitter users across iOS, Android and web devices for now. If user feedback is positive, Twitter will roll out the feature globally, adding to its growing list of new features in the pipeline – including ‘unmentioning’, communities and even an edit button.

Mark Dice, a media analyst and author, replied to the Twitter Safety tweet, arguing that the Circle feature could exacerbate harassment on the platform by creating exclusive communities immune to being reported.

“Of course, this will be abused since nobody outside the Circle will be able to see the tweets that doxx others, so nobody will be able to report them or respond, so the Circle will be able to harass others without being stopped,” he said.

Twitter’s track record with testing new changes has been a bit of a hit-and-miss, however, as it had to roll back its decision to default to an algorithm-based timeline in March after receiving pushback from users.

More changes are expected to be on their way for the platform with 229m daily active users as Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, takes over charge later this year – pending approval of the $44bn deal.

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