After testing the feature for the last few months, Twitter is now rolling out the ability to hide replies to all users around the world.
To give its users more control over conversations and help them feel more “safe and comfortable” while talking on its platform, Twitter is looking to change the way that conversations work.
Up until now, those who replied to Tweets could “shift the topic or tone of a discussion and derail what you and your audience want to talk about,” explains Suzanne Xie, a Twitter product manager. To change this, Twitter tested the ability to hide replies to Tweets. The feature is now being made available to all users globally.
It’s a simple, yet effective solution, as anyone can choose to hide replies to their Tweets, and everyone can see and engage with hidden replies. All they have to do to do so is tap the gray icon that appears on the Tweets with hidden replies. This way, those users who begin conversations have more control over them, without actually limiting the discussion.
During its tests with the feature, according to Xie, Twitter found out the following:
- People mostly hide replies they think are irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying.
- The option is a new way to shut out noise; 85% of the people who hide replies are not using block or mute.
- People were curious to see how public figures like those in politics and journalism would use this update. So far, they aren’t hiding replies very often.
- In Canada, 27% of people who had their Tweets hidden said they would reconsider how they interact with others in the future. Also, they thought it was a helpful way to manage what they saw, similar to muted keywords.
- We learned that you may want to take further action after you hide a reply, so now we’ll check to see if you want to also block the replier.
- Some people mentioned that they didn’t want to hide replies due to fear of retaliation as the icon remains visible. We’ll continue to get feedback on this.
As a continuation of the above, Twitter is now working on new controls and ways to provide much more clarity around its conversation rules. As such, it will also be launching a new hide replies endpoint so that developers can also build more conversation management tools.
Finally, Xie explains that Twitter is “exploring more options around who can reply to or see specific conversations,” and is “testing engagement changes to see if these lead to healthier discussions.”
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